Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Forest Keeps Calling Me Back

The forest keeps calling me back. I have been having some health problems these past few months. I suppose it is my age. This has made getting up to the forest difficult. I will not let it deter me however and will keep going back.

Last Sunday I made my way up as usual. It is a pain just getting there to be honest. It is all uphill through the village and tests one on a bad day. Sunday was a bad day and by the time I got to just the very beginning of the forest I was hanging. I walked on a bit into the trees, but my legs had begun to tremble and I knew it would just be plain foolish to go on. So I turned back. And on the way home I thought about all the things I might have seen in the forest.

I might have seen that bright red fox with the steel grey eyes, he would have looked at me in that cool, aloof way of his, with one paw raised before he turned unhurried into the undergrowth and disappeared completely for all of my looking.

I might have been chased by a great big golden eagle – swooping down and raining blows on the back of my head as I ran for cover. I would have to run fast as lightening so as not to be swooped up in his talons and taken to his huge nest where he would try to feed me to his babies.

I might have encountered a flock of joyful thrushes singing their songs of love and adoration for the world and all the worms that live in the earth. I would have danced with them for a while singing their song and spitting out the worms, for they are truly vile before cooking and even afterwards can be full of grit and so inedible.

The singing thrushes may have led me upwards through the trees where I could have gathered baskets of wildflowers and spring mushrooms. Thyme and fennel of course, rosemary and little black pitcher orchids, boletes and chanterelles and big snuffling Wild Boar may stumble by, with his little piggy eyes seeing nothing, but his big piggy snout smelling out truffles barely covered by moist and crumbly earth.

The warbling thrushes would then hand me over to the little birds; the sparrows, the wrens, the finches and the tits. A huge swarm of feathers and tiny beaks that would tickle and tease me as I pelted down the mountain again only to be dragged back as they playfully grabbed every available inch of my clothing, fingers and hair and rose me up in the air like a child dancing in the wind. I would be laughing so hard that my eyes would water and so that I could hardly breathe and they would take me higher and higher until my toes would be tipping the very tops of the trees.

And then I would have looked up at the clear blue sky above me and sighed a sigh of great happiness knowing how rich I was to be able to fly this way high above the world – a world so beautiful that it never ceases to take my breath away. And with that the little birds so colourful and gay would start to let me down as their own little chests were gasping for air, exhausted by the impromptu roller coaster ride they had treated me to.

I might not have landed so serenely as I left the ground – with a bit of a bump perhaps, but I would be happy to roll on the forest floor in the pine needles. And when I would stand up I would be covered from head to toe in needles and grass and bits of bracken – my mother would have surely scolded me for coming in in such a state. Well in actual fact she would not as she never did scold us for getting dirty in the garden, she rejoiced in it too, for it meant we were healthy and sound in body as we had been leaping around have such fun together as children.

And by the time I had thought all of these thoughts I was standing outside my own little front door of my crooked little house where I live with my Vic when he is here. Which is another thing that I wish for over and over again – and more than all those other things, one day I know it will come true.