How I go to the woods
“Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”
This is one of my favourite poems. When I go to the woods, I do just the same. I sit. I sit for hours. I lie on my back and look at the sky. I listen to all the goings on – the birds, the leaf ruffles, the squirrels – and let them pass by. I haven’t been to the woods for a while and I miss my good woodland friend. It’s funny really, I have the two different ways I interact with nature – the sociable kind and the ‘unsociable’ kind. The kind when I head with friends, and adventure and talk and have a shed load of fun. And then the other kind when I just go alone to ponder and sit and observe the goings on around me…soak up all the vitality, ground myself with the wisdom and connection this brings. Or just have a good cry and hug a few trees.
The latter nature moments can only really happen when I’m truly comfortable, and in these kind of moments I tend to only truly be comfortable with just me. Sometimes I’ll potter with a friend to my favourite hill just down the road, and sit in the grass and talk. I love it. Where I used to live, I shared nature a lot more with friends and I miss that a right old bunch, too. We used to head off on road trips, boards in the back and a tonne of food on our laps, off to wherever the waves were rolling in. Or we’d head to the woods or the beautiful mountain range nearby, for a big long hike or a gentle stroll. We’d collect a bunch of sticks and make a fire, letting the sun come down and we’d stay until our toes were well and truly numb. Man I miss those days.
Many more of those to come though, I know. I just need to get me a bunch of folk up for an adventure from here, to somewhere else…preferably anywhere water related, or anywhere just wild.