Have you ever been outdoors and felt as though you entered another world because of a change in the sunlight or your surroundings? I was out for a trail run the other day and I experienced this very thing. I was on the second loop of a three loop run on a local trail and, as I came around a corner of the trail, it was as if I stepped out of this world and into a completely different dimension. It is almost indescribable with words, but I will do my best.
As I rounded that particular corner of the trail, the colors of the leaves on the trees became vibrantly bright, the trail a deep earthy brown. The fallen leaves covering the trail in patches were deep, luxurious hues of red, brown, yellow, and gold. A light haze had seemingly descended over the woods, though I realized within a split second that it was not a haze. The clouds were filtering the sunlight in such a way that there was almost an eerie glow to the woods. It was as if I were to have reached out with my hand, I could have closed my hand around the light and the air and actually grasped it. Everything was magnified from the appearance of the forest to the sounds of the squirrels scurrying through the leaves and the birds twittering and chirping overhead. The forest gave off a strong, earthy scent. It was as if I had stepped through an invisible wall into the land of Narnia. I did not recognize that part of the trail at all, even though I have run it a number of times; it was that changed by the light. It was beautiful and mindboggling all rolled into one. And, it didn’t last nearly long enough. I was so enthralled, I nearly missed my next turn on the trail. Once I followed the turn, the moment slipped through my fingers and I was back in this world.
I hoped that when I came around on the third lap that I might experience the same thing, but this was to be a one-time, one-of-a-kind experience. It was a resplendent, stunning experience, one I will not soon forget.
What have been some of your “otherworldly” experiences in the great outdoors, whether when hiking, running, walking, or lounging?