When I set my right foot down on the curled up brown leaf underneath the log, I heard the crunch as the sole against my shoe makes it’s way into an open patch of woods. It’s fall, and I can still smell the hint of sandalwood on my Dad’s scarf, with a mixture of Pumpkin Spice and the cool air that envelopes the September forest. The leaves shine with the Sun’s afternoon rays, most of which reflect upon the ice blue pond only 20 ft from where I stand. I inhale deeply, feeling every vertebrae in my spine move and crack as my back shifts from slightly astoop to tall and aware. The golden brown hues of the forest, combined with the dark green shades of pines needles, make me fall in love with this haven (no pun intended). I realize that I am nature, and nature comprises a universe much larger, meaningful, and deep than anything I will know. I am miniscule against the nighttime starry backdrop, yet this patch of dead organisms and fallen bark makes me almost whole with my surroundings. I can ponder thoughts that will never escape the complex branch patterns of the Oaks. I will return to my Cross Country team and begin to stretch for our regionals race, a task that I, along with 6 other girls, will try and master after around 20 minutes and sweat and pain. But I will look back, through a glimpse of the forest, and know that peace of mind travels with me as long as I can have this patch of woods.