"I am having a great day!" she shouts. "I am such a good hiker."
And she is, indeed, a good hiker. Or rather, she is a good explorer. A good wanderer. A good little wood sprite, for she zigzags to and fro, up and over and around, with little regard to trail markers and such. If she had room enough in her pockets for every acorn in the forest, she would bring them all home. She stops and lingers, pokes and prods and gathers, and a two-hour hike turns into a whole afternoon adventure.
She reminds us to slow down and look around. That there is no real goal beyond the moment. That throwing rocks into a river is enough accomplishment for one day. That, when your "footies are tired", it is perfectly fine to sit right down in a pile of leaves and have a rest.
(photos from the Eno River State Park)