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  • Writer's pictureDerek Guimond

Neighborhood Hike

Three weeks ago one of my best bros proposed to his girlfriend. Not only was I beyond stoked for him to have found her and how happy they are together, but I helped plan the day to make it seem like it was just a photoshoot for the two of them, you know to try and keep it a surprise. It definitely made it more special for me to be there for those reasons, but that was also my first true engagement shoot. SO yeah I was nervous to say the least because here I am trying to play it cool as a walk in the park shoot, but at the same time need to be 100% on my game, an engagement shoot game which I've never played before. Needlesss to say it turned out to be an amazing day; I couldnt be happier for how things came out and the for two of them and their future.

When I got home, I was feeling great, tired from the walking, planning and the hundreds of photos I took but decided to grab my film camera, Tuckermans leash and head out the door for a walk around the neighborhood. It was 2:30 or so in the afternoon and had a few hours till the sun set. I left my phone at home, I knew where I was going, I only spent 18 years of my life running around these streets and woods, but really just wanted to disconnect from things and soak up the good vibes from the day for a bit on a little hike.

The trail is packed down with so many tracks from humans and other dogs, its a popular spot that leads down to the river. I've biked, skied, walked, and ran this trail hundreds of times, but never like this, with tuckerman and my Pentax, just walking with no intention or goal. This little fern, plant or whatever you want to call it took me 5 minutes of laying in the snow and trying to focus to get this shot. It really isn't much, I mean it's almost dead, but for some reason brought a sense of calmness. Less than 4 hours ago I snapped hundreds of photos, most of which are significantly more aesthetically pleasing, but laying in the snow, smiling as I tried to compose this, hoping it would come out, and then getting up with soaked jeans reminded me of the days out here as a kid, where I didn't care about much and just had fun.

Tuckerman was have a blast running free and so decicided to take the long way home. There were plenty of "shortcuts" along the way to get home quicker...but for what reason? I had nothing going on, so why do I need to rush? Lets just enjoy this afternoon for what it is and let go of the thoughts of whats going on. What do you hear? What do you see? What in the world is Tuckerman chasing or rolling in this time? Whats simply going on right now...

Well there's a lot going on, in my world, in your world, it's so hectic all the time. I certainly struggle to find quiet and let my brain shut off for a bit. If I were to guess I'd say maybe 10 mintues total(and definitely not consecutive) of this 2 hour neighborhood hike I truly was tuned off and absorbed what was going on around me. It's not much, but it's more than nothing and I enjoyed that. Its funny how something little can slowly build to something this street for example. It use to be entirely woods, where 14 year old me and friends built tree forts, bike tracks and general neighboorhood woods shennanigans. Now, its a road, with fancy new houses and new memories for the families that live there now. I was home this summer and literally watched one of my tree forts be bulldozed over by a bucket loader...all those memories were brought down in a matter of seconds. That sucked to watch, but really, I outgrew that part of my life and now someone has a house there so I'm happy for the change.

Long story short, change is a part of life we have to welcome. It can't be forced or made, but you can do little things to slowly accept, embrace and invite the things you want. I've got a long way to go but I've been finding taking that little bit of time to do things for yourself, to turn off and soak in some quiet slowly shows some positive progress. If you have a couple minutes to spare, take the long way to work tomorrow, pull over somewhere and soak in a view you usually miss because you're late and rushing to punch in like we all usually do.

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