A little over a year ago, my children and I walked down a trail on the Natchez Trace Parkway, not far from Jackson, MS. The air smelled thick with pines, and the summer heat beat against our heads. A mile into the trail, the trees opened up, and we saw water on the other side. We sat on the bank and looked out at all the boats cutting through the water with moms and dads having fun with their children. Some stood on wakeboards; others laid flat on big tubes as they got pulled along behind the boat.
I pulled out my notebook from my back pocket and started to write a few short thoughts. I didn’t touch the words until a few weeks ago when I decided to shoot a short video to go along with them:
“Take me to the woods in the morning, where the smell of a dew-covered ground makes me take a deep breath. Where my children follow behind me while their eyes are filled with awe as they look above at the tall pines. Where the path is narrow– overgrown, but it leads us near the water, who’s gentle touch against the grass pulls our ears toward it.
Take me to a simple place– a place where laughter dances in the air with the sound of leaves rustling in the wind; a place where I hear, “Daddy, come and look,” and see how thrilled they are to discover something so ordinary that I forgot how beautiful it was; a place where yesterday doesn’t matter and tomorrow seems so far away. That’s where I belong.”
Even though it’s been a year, that trail is still one of my favorites.