Nothing makes me feel happier than a walk in the woods. More than the seaside, or parks, treading through trees and rhododendron bushes, stopping by ponds, breathing the clear air is just about as good as it gets.
We found ourselves there yesterday morning, with friends, excited by the clear skies and warmth, on the lookout for adventures.
Ava and I are reading ‘The Enchanted Wood’ right now so she’s quick to point out if a tree looks a little magical, and I’m quick to suggest that the breeze is carrying a ‘wisha wisha wisha’ on it. I tell Ava she is like Silky, with her pixie dancing and her long sunshine hair. And Ezra is Moonface, we both agree.
I’m struck by how perfect it is in the woods. How little I know the names of things. I’m like a small child in the forest, stumbling in awe over every flower, every unhindered space.
What thing it is that opens in the wild; your heart? Your soul? It feels answered in the woods, and at the very least, I feel as if something has been achieved. A cuckoo sounds out somewhere beyond our little group. We walk on, copying the sound, trying to give something back.
‘If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination
And if your spirit
carries within it
that is heavier than lead –
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging –
there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted’
(From ‘Morning Poem’ by Mary Oliver)