Into The Woods

My favorite walk

photo by author last summer

When I feel a bit stressed or just have itchy feet, I love to go to the ancient woodland along the harbour.

Half the journey is getting there. I see birds, both waterbirds and the common or garden variety.

The scent of the harbor is the first awareness. The salt air refreshes the senses as if cleansing the palletThen wild orchids appear along with other plants and small shrubs. Buttercups, wild geraniums, flax, and blossom from brambles.

Then butterflies and bees and wasps make themselves visible, teasing as they alight and fly away, returning and repeating their dance of flight. Cyclists pass, it is all good natured, and time of day is passed with other walkers.

The reed beds come into sight. I see gulls actually diving for fish instead of eating dropped human food in the town. Swans and ducks glide through the apparent stillness.

Trees approach. I feel a relief, as if all my cares will be lifted by the boughs and leaves gently whisper their energy to me, softly, on the breeze. I go into the green embrace of ancient woods with gnarled trunks and thick roots. I wonder at the mycelium that created this wonder. Trees be. They are living and talking to each otherThey feed the needy ones and choose where a sapling will sprout.

The green is soothing. My soul finds nourishment. My eyes rest on twisted branches where moths restlook closely and maybe there is a bat. All is alive, even dying logs are teeming with life as beetles start the decaying process. I feel embraced and sheltered in the tunnels of green. Sounds of birds are music for the cathedral-like trees, majestic and strong.

Strange entanglements of wood and ferns and undergrowth. Sunlight is dappled through the canopy of green. It is peace and joy both at once. Uplifting but full of awe.

Gradually, I come out to meadow and must leave other paths unexplored until another day.

Published in Weeds and Flowers