I spent the first minutes of my morning in the woods searching for a thought that didn’t want to be found. My mind was blank, but I felt as if there were something that needed to be pondered. This search for a thought brought me a memory. A memory of sitting on the porch, my father, brother, and I with our freshly collected walking sticks. Just coming from the woods, these sticks needed some refinement. With knives in hand, we all went to shaving. Layer by layer came off of the wooden staff to reveal a beautiful interior. Not a word was said, but we all knew our thoughts were held to ourselves. The layers on our staffs protected the interior from harm, but the inside was just as hardy and a tad prettier. I think all of us, sitting there on the porch, were the same way. I think everyone is the same way. We live in a harsh world that doesn’t allow for much beauty to be let out. We hold our thoughts and feelings, our soft interiors, behind a tough shell to prevent harm. I have encountered this with many people. With each and every one of them, I found that the tough layers outside revealed a beautiful interior as they were peeled away. I know this isn’t the thought I was looking for, but it was the thought I found. It was hard to leave the woods today, I wanted to keep searching.

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