Usually, my husband and I don’t go out into the woods until May. Often, we don’t head out until Memorial Day weekend. But in the last few years, we’ve headed out earlier, because we both get to the point that if we don’t, we’ll go a little nuts.

This year, that ‘going a little nuts’ thing is happening earlier in the spring due to the whole stay at home order and my working from home and Ambrose not being able to go to the gym. I like where I live, but I do miss having more than one room. Okay, technically, there’s the bathroom; it has a door and I could shut myself in there, but it’s not the same!

On Monday night, I learned that I would be required to take furlough days at work. I think the way they’re doing it is pretty fair, requiring a set number of days from employees based on their salary, and not requiring any furlough days from employees making less than a set amount. On Tuesday morning, I was starting to freak out quite a bit, and Ambrose suggested that I take the afternoon off of work so we could drive out to the woods and see if we might camp out this weekend.

So I did.

We drove out to make sure that we could, that the road was in good enough repair for our Ford Focus to handle. And we drove out to get a dose of the nature cure that we both sorely needed.

About halfway to Twin Springs, I had a thought. There’s a small hot spring on this road; not an official one, just a roadside park and soak kind of thing. I said we should go there and see if it’s empty, and if it was, we should go and soak a bit. I hadn’t brought a towel or a bathing suit, but my underwear would do and we had a small towel in the car.

We were able to drive all the way out to that hot spring, and no one was there. This hot spring is, to me, quite magical. It’s practically a fairy grotto, with an overhanging ledge that drips water (hot and cold) into the pool, flowers and vines growing up the sides. And I adore hot springs. I was so overcome with emotion when I got in that I started crying. I was laughing, crying and grinning all at the same time.

Ambrose didn’t get in the water with me, but he did sit near the pool. We chatted a bit, but I mostly just reveled in the heat of the water and the beauty of the scenery. I thought about something that Ambrose said to me when we had a bit of a fight. He asked why I couldn’t just stop worrying so much, or something to that effect. To me, worrying is a part of who I am as a person. And that attitude tells me that the worry-monster has integrated into my psyche on a deep level.

We didn’t stay too long at the hot spring. It wouldn’t be fair to linger when only one group could responsibly use the area at a time. We didn’t drive home yet though. We just went up the road a bit and found a spot to stop and relax next to the river. I spent some time alone, my body stretched out on the earth, feeling the breeze on my skin, mostly cool, but occasionally chilly. The warmth of the sun. The intense pine scent from the tree I was under. Rustling of wind blown branches. Water flowing along.

I asked myself what would happen if I stopped worrying so much. And the answer is that I can’t know unless I try. So, I’m going to try. I’m going to try to let go of the worry habit. For all I know, it will help me lose weight. It will probably reduce the number of headaches that I get. And it could even have an effect on my digestive issues. All I have to do is learn to let go of something that I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.

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