I was walking in the woods recently, or should I say I was escaping in the woods, as I like to go there to get away from my day to day life, to get as far away from the crowded mundane town that I inhabit for far too much of it (my life that is). Anyway, I was in the woods for whatever reason or reasons, meaning that I was there however I came to be there. The why of my being there was not important. My presence there was an inescapable fact.
I love the woods.
I love the way that when you enter the woods there is an overpowering feeling of being somewhere very different to where you were before. You know, without having to give it too much of your conscious awareness, that you are most definitely ‘in the woods’.
I love being ‘in the woods’.
In the woods you have the sense, not necessarily of going back in time, but of being ‘out of time’ or somewhere that has not been so dramatically changed by time as, say, the local High street may have done. What I mean is, that, say we use the High street theme as illustration, my local high street has changed dramatically (and many, not just myself would argue, for the worst) in the thirty odd years or so since my childhood, whereas the woods have not changed for hundreds of years, maybe even thousands? (I’m not quite so sure about the thousands comment but I put it anyway because it sounds really good and may be true as well).
I love the atmosphere in the woods.
I love the fact that someone just like me, maybe hundreds of years ago, could have been walking in these woods for whatever reason or reasons, maybe it was just on the way to where they were going or maybe they were there for their own pleasurable escape or adventure. Anyway the point I’m making is that the woods would have been the same woods as they are now all these hundreds of years later. The woods have always been the woods. Do you see what I am saying?
I love the unchanging nature of the woods.
And as I walk I wonder about that person. I wonder what he looked like, what clothes he was wearing and what work he did. Did he have a wife, or a lover, or both. Did he have children? Maybe he had a guilty secret or a burden and he walked in these woods to forget. I wonder how often he came here. One thing I do know is that his heart would have opened and he would have felt strangely at home here, just as I do.
I love how the woods makes me feel connected to the past.
He touched me on the shoulder once, and then spoke to me. I knew it was him straight away. I knew by what he said. “I am aware of you thinking about me, and when you walk here I am always close by”. I turned to see him but he was gone.
In the woods I am never alone.