Lessons from the Woods

Claire Lafferty
3 min readSep 7, 2018


Its been one of those weeks. You know those weeks where your whole life get turned around, you lose a job, or a friend, or get that outcome you were not wanting. Life gets hard, it throws you curve balls, and sometimes it leaves you with more questions than answers.

So in the middle of all the chaos, confusion, and unanswered questions, I set off to find something, whether answers or just some sense of peace; I stepped into the woods, determined to leave with something.

And as I sat there listening to the wind whistle through the tree leaves, studying how the paths twist and turn, split from one another and come together again; I began to see that life is really like a walk in the woods.

(Cliche, I know, but bear with me)

At times the path before you is clear, and other times it hardly seems like there is a path there at all. Sometimes life can be great; you find a nice little meadow to settle down in and rest for a while. But other times, you simply feel as though you are walking through the deepest, darkest parts of the woods, unable to see the path in front of you.

And as hard as we try to rush through the woods, longing for a peaceful meadow, have you ever stopped to just listen to what is going on around you? The trees hold many stories that they whisper back and forth, but have you ever stopped and listened to the lessons they tell?

Lesson One. The path ahead is not straight. There will be twists and turns and hills to climb, and at times you will not be able to see what is ahead. Don’t worry about the path you can not see, worry about what is on the path in front of you, what you can see. Take it all one step at a time that is all one can do.

Lesson Two. There will be other travelers (friends some might say) that will join you on your journey. Enjoy their company while they are here. Help them and let them help you, no one was made to journey alone.

Lesson Three. Travelers will come, and travelers will go. Everyone has their path in life, and while it would be nice never to have to say goodbye, sometimes the direction of our paths force us too. However, take heart, not all paths that are split are split forever, you never know what paths may cross one day again. Also know that while some may part for good, new travelers are waiting to meet you further down on your journey.

Lesson Four. You may fall, get a scratch or two, or get bitten. All of these will heal in time, and the scars will serve as a reminder for all that you have endured. Remember to take care of yourself on the journey, but always have the courage to stand again after a fall.

Lesson Five. Some days the sun will set, and you will feel lost in all the darkness. The feeling of hopelessness will set in, and you will find yourself swallowed in the seemingly endless darkness. But dawn is coming, and the sun will rise again. It always does.

The path before every one of us is never-ending. We don’t always get to choose what’s next on path either, but what we do choose is how we face it. We choose to take the next step forward, even when it takes everything within us to take it.

Keep moving forward, my fellow travelers.



Claire Lafferty

// the first question should not be the last question, neither should the first cup of coffee be the last cup //