A couple years back my wife Barb took up hiking. I remember her first adventure into the outdoors very well. She came home with a new found passion. Her smile as she walked in the door was amazing. Barb was giddy about the trek and wanted to tell me about it in detail. I found it very enjoyable to just listen to her descriptions of what she had discovered. I found it very ironic that she was so excited about wandering in the woods. I had tried for decades to get her to wander with me and all I heard was woods ticks and muddy and wet responses. This was a serious change in her view.

Barb described the sounds and the smells in the woods. She was amazed that she enjoyed it so much. Her description of a bench she found way back in the middle of nowhere intrigued me. She had taken a photo of it and went through her phone until she found the photo.

She described the bench and where it set. It was not in a clearing or on a ridge top view point. It was just along a trail in the middle of nowhere. She said she sat down on it because it looked so inviting. She sat down and had lunch and appreciated the solitude. It was at the top of a hill and she said the wind was making the pines sway. It was mesmerizing and she lost track of time. When she looked at her watch she noticed she had been sitting there for almost an hour. She smiled and took the photo above and off she went back home.

I watched her talk about her adventure for about an hour. She had a new twinkle in her eye and I was happy for her. I knew this was only the beginning of her wandering and exploration.

She has hiked in many state parks and forests since then. Her first hike into the woods was imprinted on her and she visited the special bench often.

We talked about her bench in the middle of nowhere each time she went there. She questioned who would have carried it all the way back there. Barb made a point of sitting there as her place to take a break and enjoy her new found wanderlust.

The seasons have flown by since her first discovery of her bench. She always takes a seat and thinks about everything and nothing. She snaps a photo of her bench as she leaves and promises herself to keep on her journey.

The snow falls and the seasons change but she still visits her bench. She still sits there and takes in all that nature has to offer. It has a cleansing effect on her. Her smile as she tells me about her bench tells me all I need to know.

Seasons come and go. She goes back to her bench no matter the weather. She sits for quite a while and thinks about the past, present and future. The bench never fails to make her smile.

There is never a season that the bench is not inviting and asks her to sit there in the middle of nowhere and find herself.