- A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods
Our back garden is one of the many in our little town which border the woods. For me –born and raised in the big city with no forest in sight– this proximity to the woods, admittedly, is quite exciting.
There’s something about the woods which has always captivated the human imagination; something timeless and untamed.
I was thinking about it the other day, as my 9-year-old daughter and I were walking in the woods behind our house. She’d been under the weather that day, and I suggested a stroll in the fresh air to improve her spirit.
We walked into the forest, leaving the urban behind; the hum of traffic faint in the distance.
It was distinctly cooler in the woods, the air mildly damp and fragrant with decomposing leaves.
A few minutes into the forest we discovered a ravine – a delightful surprise and the perfect spot to stop for a jump in the puddle. A massive tree had fallen over the little brook, uprooting everything in the vicinity of its roots but also forming a bridge over the creek – useful as a bench for parents like me, watching over their children splashing in the puddle.
Of course, the fresh air is conducive to fresh ideas, and we soon felt invigorated by all that oxygen. We marveled at the grandeur of some of the trees, at the decomposition of others, at the moss, at the bark peeling off dead trunks, at the flickering of shadows and light and the sound of leaves swaying in the breeze.
I could easily see how this scenic setting, right on the edge of town, vast and wild, would have inspired so much poetic and artistic creation over the ages. Add to that some mist on a foggy day where, in addition to the multitude of trees, our vision is obscured by the fog, and you have the perfect setup for many fairy tales, complete with enchantment and the thrill of an adventure in the unknown.
A line from the late American poet Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods [sic] springs to my mind: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”. A beautiful poem if you ever get a chance to read it whole, but the solitude and melancholy echoed in it are in stark contrast to the joyful stroll I had with my daughter in the woods that day.
It’s marvellous to have the forest, wondrous and serene, a mere minute away from our doorstep.
By Didi Gorman