This wood doesn’t know me yet, doesn’t trust me.
No sights, only sounds of animals… there was that white form disappearing behind the crest of a hill. Silent, so it must have been a bird. White owl, perhaps.
I wonder how I felt when I was a child… about the woods… On nature walks that we took on countless camping trips. Did I listen to the wisdom of the trees? Did I pay attention to the words of my father? I don’t remember. Perhaps it wasn’t the words that were important, because in the woods, in the wilds, I see and hear as I was meant to. My soul learned what it needed to… then. There are new lessons to be learned now.
Fresh tracks in wet leaves tell me that those with hooves and paws are not far off. But I am stomping and tromping, snapping twigs beneath the bed of leaves. Deer are not curious to see me, they silently get out of my way, remaining invisible.
At first I am apologetic at the noisy destruction that my feet cause. But I am as much a part of the natural process as all the other animals who break down spent leaves and twigs.
Stone wall, old border. A border still. On my side: the ground is a tangle of moss covered trunks and swaying seedlings. Across the wall: cleanly cut stumps and passages wide enough for wheeled vehicles.
I think of Robert Frost and his neighbor repairing the walls that formed the boundary between them. Strengthening the wall and their friendship at the same time.
The wall runs straight. Up and down hills, diving under the leaves in the valleys between. But resolutely straight.
On the return, I choose the path rather than following the wall back. Much easier going, quieter, too. On the path I feel more human, less… woodsy.
When two roads diverge in a yellow wood, it is possible that it is the same road looping back on itself.