The Formative Years Pt. 1

It was important to me to be able to walk through the forest silently. I would take off my shoes so that each step would be as quiet as a cat’s, even though the toothpick sized twigs hurt . Some primal part of me relished this challenge. I would creep along, a running dialogue creating stories in my head. I was a caveman hunting for deer. I was an Indian creeping up on my enemies. I was a wild orphan, hiding from danger. I had to hunt and scavenge and gather for sustenance, because I was alone in this wilderness, this vast forest.

I was alone, but that was ok. I enjoyed being alone. I enjoyed these solitary forays into the unknown.

I could crouch under the low branches of a pine, hunched in my cave, my bower, and breathe loam and pine scents, the rich deep earth smells. I could stay still like this for as long as I wanted, listening to the chatter of squirrels in the high branches, the birds fluttering this way and that, perhaps wait to see if a deer might step their slender, quiet way across my path.

In this way, the great stillness of the forest sank deep into my being.

Whenever I need to quiet and ground myself I take my thoughts back to my forest. I imagine I’m lying spread eagle on the sun-warmed earth. The scent of dried pine needles and dirt saturating my senses as I look up at a blue puzzle piece of sky through the canopy of evergreen boughs.

I become as rooted as a tree, as if the forest is in me.