I love coming to the Muir Woods National Monument. On a recent March weekend, it was very crowded, but it is always a bit crowded here because it is the epitome of nature’s beauty. Coming on a weekday morning is often the best time to avoid most of the crowds, but Muir Woods is never truly empty.
Why is that? Because there is something special about this park. Even if you’re used to cool temperatures, you’ll want to bring along a jacket because the temperature seems to always be in the mid-60’s. What I love about Muir Woods in March, however, is the fact that Spring is blooming wild and free within the forest. The new leaves are out. The stream seems to be running with an extra gusto right now.
It all encourages a state of mind that wants to actively meditate.
These stately redwoods that seem to touch the sky remind me of ancient visitors. They reach out to invite you to be with them no matter who you are. It is a cool, nurturing energy that surrounds you, welcomes you, and holds you as you explore underneath the canopy. Even in the silence of Muir Woods that you can find, there never really is silence. These ancient beings are speaking softly and quietly to encourage each visitor to be a little bit better today than they were yesterday.
The main trail at Muir Woods is a paved road, which means anyone of any age or ability can accept the invitation that has been offered. This trail might be busy much of the time, but there is a beauty in this hectic scene. There’s a mother pushing a stroller. There are couples who are holding hands, providing a warmth to each other in the chill of an early Spring day. There’s a daughter exploring Muir Woods from her wheelchair. There are several different languages that tickle the ear as they filter through the forest.
In many ways, the main trail of Muir Woods is a reflection of humanity. All should be welcome, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. Your invitation is waiting. “Come, join us,” the trees seem to say.
I accepted my invitation by sitting next to a running stream for a short break. A stone in the stream caught my eye and time seemed to stand still. I enjoyed being in this one, perfect moment for what seemed like a lifetime! Afterwards, I placed my hand on one of the trees, these ancient beings standing tall, and could feel its breath match my own.
Muir Woods is filled with many amazing beings. We breathe out and they breathe in. It is a symbiosis that brings life to each of us, intertwining us together throughout all of space and time. I chanted a mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum or the “jewel is within the lotus.” It means happiness and joy are within. It became my meditation as I walked amongst these ancient beings, feeling their happiness and joy merge with my own.
A quick visit to the gift shop brought my journey this day to a close. A magnet to remember this perfect moment, a pen to help me write down future memories of perfect moments, and a couple bookmarks to recall my experiences within Muir Woods.