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A Beautiful Walk

By: Melinda Heinrichs

This was written in loving memory of my daughter, who suffered from Anxiety Disorder. And a Thank you to Eloise Woods, a natural cemetery, that provides a beautiful place to visit loved ones.

1st · Adult Writing (2021)

I pull up to the empty lot and park in my usual place. The gate creaks out a greeting as I enter. The soft breeze gently embraces me. The warm sunshine peeks through the dense leafy branches of the oak trees. The mulch crackles as I walk along the narrow path. The wildflowers are blooming on the edges. I hear the birds singing joyfully and I take the long route to my daughter’s place, allowing the peace of the woods to envelope me. I see the familiar names on the way with a few new ones since my last visit. I turn down her lane, noticing the weeds growing around the rocks, trees, and headstones. I clean her stone and weed the area, while I tell her everything the family has been up to. Laying back in the grass. I reach out, imagining her hand in mine, just like she did when she was little and couldn’t sleep. Only, this time, there is no comfort. The emptiness settles within me, signaling time to leave. The heaviness in my heart makes my body feel lethargic and my movements slow. I give her my love and say goodbye, heading back down the trail. After a few steps, I start hearing the birds, feeling the warmth of the sun, and noticing the swaying trees. And once again, I let the peace of the woods embrace me, making my steps a little lighter.

It truly is the most beautiful walk in the woods. A beautiful walk, no one should ever have to take.