I like the silence that enfolds me while I am out hiking, how the noise of the traffic fades away, first to a distant hum and then dwindles off to nothing. When the only sounds that break the silence are the same ones that have broken it over the millennium. The wind sighing through the branches, the water rippling, the creak of the ice, the animals scurrying about their own business. My mind can be quieted as I discard thoughts that being lugged along do more harm than good. I take in great lungfuls of air and as many visual details as I can, each revitalizing me in their own way as time ceases to rush by. I can stand in this stillness and just be. I enjoy the solitude I find, rarely seeing another person on the trail taking in the bounty all around. And as I turn to head back to the car I find that all I have discarded along the way has instantly composted into the ground under my feet.