Tuesday, January 15, 2013


She is undoubtedly the only person I know who truly understands how I feel about this land.  We are both runners, painters, art educators, and lovers of color.  When friends like this visit, no matter what the weather, we will embark on an adventure.  This particular Sunday happened to be cold, rainy, overcast, and wonderful.

Exploring off trail


Amongst the pines along the Florida Trail in the Osceola National Forest, time seems to stand still. Minutes seem like seconds, and the hours we spent out on the paths felt just as short. Reunited on the trail, it had seemed like no time had passed, although we had not spent a significant period of time one on one since Summer.

We spoke about teaching, school, birds, exhibits, texture, friends, relationships, and the future. We took pictures of the north Florida winter colors in an attempt to memorize their beauty and composed paintings in our heads. Photographs never do a landscape justice, we decided. We found tree stands, and scaled them, naturally, taking in the view from above. Only as we climbed down and made our way to the trail head, did we take note of the time. When did we start walking? We had forgotten to start our watch. So when do you need to head home? She would begin her teaching internship the next morning.

As we were walking down the last stretch of the dirt road leading to the car, an older couple in a faded blue pick-up truck, concluding a day of hunting, made their way down the road, as well.

"How long have y'all been out here?" said the man, clearly confused by two soaking wet, twenty-somethings walking down the flooded road.

"I have no idea," I laughed. Alone in the woods, we were able to talk like no time had passed.  Time on the trails seems to slow.  And, with good friends, that is always a good thing.

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