This weekend we enjoyed some restorative time in the woods. Having not been in open endless woods for a while, it was a great reward. We had to drive to Montclair on Friday to enroll Maya in school (yes – we are moving soon!) as she will start Kindergarten in the Fall. I am trying not to think about this too much as I have mixed feelings about sending my little one away to learn when I so much enjoy teaching her myself, and I love having her close – alas, I am going with the flow. So to take my mind off the enrollment process, I requested we go for a family hike. We did not know much about our chosen trail, but selected it based on the fact that it is at the end of the street we will soon be living on. I will very much enjoy having this reservation two blocks away. The trail we set out on is in Mills Reservation, and it is part of the Lenni-Lenape Native American trail. We ended up walking the main Mills reservation trail, that is an easy 1.5 miles (2.8 km). The trail was a pleasant walk, wide and mostly flat with a few small inclines. There were many smaller offshoot trails, that looked a lot like deer tracks. At the highest point of the trail, there is a fantastic view of Manhattan. This is directly above the end of our street, and so I look forward to seeing this view throughout the seasons. Maya walked the whole way – and other than saying she was thirsty – had no complaints – Elle however at about half way started saying “I have tried legs” and so hitched a ride on Daddy’s shoulders – still she did really well considering her small stride.
The forest was a cool relief on a hot Summer day, with sun beams penetrating the leafy canopy to the forest floor, the light was so beautiful – very nice for taking photos. It was all so lush and green and damp, with mossy rocks and mushrooms. I enjoyed finding forest treasures, collecting some pine cones and some birch bark from the ground – you know I will be doing this with the birch bark during the holidays. We came across a couple of tipis that the Girls played in and added more logs too. I made a point of taking lots of big deep breaths, as did Maya, who said “Mummy, the air tastes so good in here”, and it really did – nothing like good clean fresh O2. I want to go back and collect more birch bark, and I want to go there early in the morning to see deer…and I want to go there in the Fall, and in Winter…and I want to go there again tomorrow…I have a feeling it will become one of my favorite places.