A Bend in the Road

I am fortunate to live close to a nature reserve. Sometimes I go running there, but most days I just walk. Other than home, it’s my favorite place to be. It’s where I go to relax, to think about stories, and to work out problems and get new ideas.

These things don’t always happen during my wanderings, of course. Along with my feet, my mind has a tendency to meander, and it doesn’t always go where I want. And that’s OK. Out in the woods, there is no judgment, no requirements for me to do or think about anything in particular.

But sometimes, my mind can get carried away. My thoughts can be noisy–jarring and out of place in such quiet, calm surroundings. Whenever I feel like my busy thoughts are trying to take over, I’ll often just stop and look around. I’ll listen to the wind in the trees, and smell the scent of earth and pine that hangs in the air. I’d probably stay like that for quite a while, but the trail I walk on is popular, and there’s often a runner passing by or someone walking their dog. I always feel a little bit foolish being caught standing alone with a smile on my face as I stare out into the woods. And so I walk on.

Forest1This time of year, those stop-and-stare-at-the-trees moments are much more frequent. Now I stop not only to calm my mind, but also to just admire the beauty. I love autumn. It’s a magical time of year for me. That magic is enhanced, I think, by the fleetingness of the season. The best moments of it, which are happening right now, last only a few weeks. After that, the leaves will have fallen, the world will become barren and drab, and I will wait for the snow to come and brighten it up again.

I’ve noticed that when I take these moments to stop and look around, a lot of the time I’ve stopped at a bend in the road. Some of my favorite spots while out walking are where the path curves before disappearing into the trees beyond.

That got me thinking as to why that might be. It could be that it’s just a picturesque sight, and that’s probably true. But I think there’s more to it than that. I think that, like autumn, there is magic where the road turns.

Beyond the bend lies possibility, and possibility is where magic resides. It is a world where reality has yet to take shape, and so we are left to imagine what might be. It is a path of beginnings rather than endings, of questions rather than answers. It is Bilbo leaving his Hobbit hole; it is Lucy stepping through the wardrobe.

It is a moment of held breath, waiting to wish on a star or blow out a candle, all the while wondering, “What if…?”


Have you seen any magical moments in everyday life?


Giveaway update

The giveaways so far have been extremely successful. However, I’m going to wait before doing the last one, just to give time for the books that have gone out thus far to arrive, as well as allowing me to take stock of the current situation. Thank you everyone for showing interest and for helping spread the word. It really means a lot.


Halloween Blog Hop

And since we’re talking about updates, now might be a good time to mention that there’s still time to sign up for the Halloween Blog Hop. If you like blog hops and are a fan of the lovely autumnal holiday, then you won’t want to miss it.




  1. Oh, I’m so jealous I just got shivers.

    I don’t live far from an amazing walk/forest either. Actually, just like you I stop to just stare. I get kind of annoyed when I see other people though, because I just want to be alone when I’m out there. I really love to go running outside on the trails also, but nothing really beats a good walk, you know?

    • Those darn people! Once there was an awesome rain storm going on outside, so I was sitting on the porch writing furiously (Because there was also a big rain storm going on in the story and there were lots of ideas bouncing everywhere) and one of my brothers came out next to me to watch the storm. I glared at him and said, “your presence is messing with my writing.” and told him the go to the other end of the porch so I couldn’t see him.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Good walks are awesome, and I know what you mean about seeing other people. Sometimes I feel like if I found a nice secluded spot, I’d probably just sit out there for hours. 🙂

  2. What a beautiful piece! I also live near a nature preserve and took my dog there yesterday afternoon after a lousy and stressful day. Within a few minutes all that slipped away and I was just admiring the beauty around me. There’s nothing better than a beautiful autumn day.

  3. Jennifer Tyron

    By stopping to take in the magic you are giving others permission to be in the moment too. Thanks for the eloquent reminder to be present in our lives and to savor the mystery of why lies ahead!

    • Sara C. Snider

      Hmmm, I suppose that’s true, but then no one ever does so that leaves me feeling awkward. Of course, I’d probably feel awkward if they did. 😉

  4. You make me want to get out and just got for a walk, to breathe, to just be in nature and let my mind go. No, I haven’t done that in a long time. I think it’s the kids and their schedules and demands. Life won’t always be like this, but your post takes me there.

  5. Beautiful photos. I love taking walks in the woods. I used to spend a lot of time in the woods when I was younger, and I always pretended that somewhere around the next bend I might find a fairy village or a unicorn. I still think that way.

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