This solo hike took place on June 3rd, 2018


Every hike I go on, I get something valuable out of it. On this one, for some reason, my attention was drawn to the trunks of the trees, and their strong foundation. The way they were coming out of the ground. The different textures, shapes and colors. All of the roots popping up from the ground and just imagining the intricate system of roots under the ground. How strong trees are because of this. Their massive weight held up by what’s underneath.

I came across this cool guy just chilling in his hammock. I would totally dig one of those. I thought about how trees are such an important part of our lives in so many ways.

So what gives us a strong foundation? Our upbringing? Our support systems of family and friends? Our confidence and how we portray ourselves to the world? Yes, all of this. But most of all, the most important thing that gives us our own personal foundation of strength is self-belief. Self-love. Knowing that you can handle anything given to you in your life, because you are worthy and deserving to experience a life of JOY. Knowing that happiness is an inside job, and that no one else but you are responsible for your own happiness, is key. It took me a while to arrive here. I had to go through a lot of challenging experiences to real-ize my own worthiness. I am super grateful for it all. I am strong, I am wise and I am kind. I’m super proud of that. If it wasn’t for my challenges throughout my life, I would not have grown into this version of myself. And it’s really all about the journey. There is no place to eventually arrive. We NEVER get it done. We are constantly evolving to become better and better versions of ourselves. Isn’t that amazing?


I came across these very interesting bugs on a tree trunk covered with turkey tail mushrooms. My friend Puma said they were tree boreres. I had never seen anything like them. Tree boring insects can be devistating to houses made of wood and trees. Not that they are “bad”, they are certainly cool to look at. But I made the connection to this metaphor. Other people can only bore into you, destroy you… if you let them. They only have power to hurt you, if you allow them to. If you have that strong foundation of knowing who you really are, finding the love that is within you- true self love. No one can ever touch you. No one can rescue you, but yourself. Come and let it- LOVE rescue you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Appreciate everyone for their own unique perspective, live and let live… BE HAPPY! This is the recipe for a joyful life.


On my way down the mountain, at the end of a trail, I saw a couple taking pictures of a tree trunk. I went over to investigate. There was this incredible orange fungus growing at the bottom of the tree. The man said he thought is was called “Hen of the Woods“. I asked a Puma and he said it was more likely “Chicken of the Woods” LOL, I don’t know the difference but, it sure was beautiful. ( FF to later this summer, and I did forage Chicken of the Woods with Puma…cooked and enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ’—)



I mentioned to the woman that I was inspired to take pictures of tree trunks today, and that this was the perfect ending to the hike. A beautifully decorated tree trunk.

Then on my way out, I took the long way around the bottom lake and remembered that one of my favorite places in the Ramapo Reservation is on the lower river. There is a tree that I call “the skull tree” because



Do you see what I see?


~Marybeth ๐Ÿ’–โ›ฐ

2 thoughts on “Strong Foundation”

  1. I do see what you see. It would be hard not to. But tasting mushrooms is tricky business – especially without butter and onions! (haha!) I’m assuming you had it on VERY good authority that those were safe to eat…

    1. Yes Henry,

      Very good authority, from multiple sources. It’s never ok to just try any random mushroom. You MUST know it’s safe. Agreed.

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