A Guided Walk by Abbie

Abbie J. Taylor 010This post by Abbie Johnson Taylor

I’m strolling down a well-marked foot path. No one else is around. I feel the sun on my face and shoulders. Occasionally, I pass trees that provide shade. The path gradually becomes marred by rocks and fallen branches. I keep plodding along, feeling a sense of peace despite the undefined trail. Birds sing in nearby trees, making me feel even calmer.

I finally reach the edge of the wood and glimpse a vast meadow with green grass and a few trees dotting the edge. A stream runs through the middle, and I hear its gentle babble and the wind whispering through the trees. I wander farther into the meadow and discover a picnic basket on the ground near the creek. Maybe a family was eating here and wandered off to find an outhouse or sheltered place to do their business. I look around, watch, wait, but no one appears.

The smell of fried chicken wafts from the partly opened lid. I open it the rest of the way and find two drumsticks, a small deli container of macaroni salad, a can of Dr. Pepper, still cold, and a zip lock bag containing a dill pickle, black olives, and cherry tomatoes. I look around to be sure no one else is approaching. All is silent except for the twittering birds, rustling wind, and babbling stream.

I sit on the ground next to the basket and dig in, thinking the food was left there just for me. I savor the flavors and wash everything down with the Dr. Pepper. I then lie back on the grass and bask in the sun’s radiance. After a brief nap, I wake to find the picnic basket with the garbage gone. Whoever brought the basket must have come while I was sleeping and collected the trash.


The above was inspired by a guided imagery exercise in which I participated at a retreat I attended recently. Now, it’s your turn. Close your eyes and picture yourself walking down a path in the woods. What do you see, hear, smell? As you walk, the path becomes more treacherous, but you feel calm. Pay attention to the atmosphere around you. At the end of the path is a vast meadow. What does it look like? As you wander into the meadow, you find a picnic basket containing your favorite foods. What’s in the basket? What do you do next? Write about it. Please feel free to share in the comment field below.


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16 thoughts on “A Guided Walk by Abbie

  1. I see the basket, examine the contents, look around at the waving grass and smell the fragrant flowers, and wonder why the basket is here, with no one else in sight. I wander on, wishing I could drink the Mountain Dew and eat the sour cream chocolate chip bundt cake I would have in the basket if it were mine! But I’m too suspicious to eat food in a basket with origins unknown. But if anyone wants the recipe for the cake, let me know! It is yummy. For now, I am just going to enjoy the soft breeze and warm sun as the grass tickles my ankles on my walk through the meadow.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The thought of lying back and basking in the sun’s radiance has me hooked! I’d probably pass on the food and savour the blue sky above.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’d take the path into the woods at sunset. I’d look up through the slits in the canopy and see slivers of red. Inside the woods, shadows would thicken, and I’d start to panic, thinking perhaps I should have not entered. I’d stumble along the path, feel branches slap my arms. They feel like the claws of ghosts wanting to steal my soul. I want madly forward and burst out of the woods into the meadow. In the twilight, see the blanket spread out of the wildflowers and the picnic basket atop it. No one around, I think perhaps whatever chased me destroyed them. I run by the open basket, get one brief look… fried chicken, container of coleslaw, apple pie. The smells are overwhelmingly inviting, but in the woods something roars. I keep running.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t do this exercise, Abbie, because when I read “fried chicken,” my mental processes stopped, and all I’ve been able to think since then is “fried chicken.” Except for occasional intrusions by sour cream chocolate chip bundt cake, carrot cake, apple pie… Whatever is roaring in the woods will have to gobble me up or sit and dine with me, because I’m not leaving the basket.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great exercise, Abbie. I’ll try it while I’m at the lake, since I have no internet, but do have lots of time sitting on our deck in the sun, reading, watching the birds at the feeder, the lake in front of me and the sounds of children playing in the water nearby. Thank you for sharing this.


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