Just the other day, I decided to go for a walk after lunch. I´d never been into the woods behind the farm before, though they´d been winking at me for as long as I´d been there. Every time I looked up in the field they were there, waiting. So I had decided to meet them at last.
They´re over the hill and not very far away. If you follow the old tyre tracks they´ll take you across the wide expanse of grass and to the end of the trees in no time. So I did that, and with a simple duck under a branch I was in the forest. I´ve never been among that sort of beauty before. I would say ¨around¨ but I was smack bang in the middle of it, breathing it in. I spent so long making circles in the ground, looking at the sky and to the side and on the ground, that soon enough I was lost. I wasn´t worried though. I knew that if I could find my way to the light at the edge of the trees I would be fine. So I did. But I wasn´t.
The meadow I was in, though, and I can only describe it as that, was so perfect that I didn´t care if I was lost for good. And as I wandered through with grass as high as my outstretched hands slowing me down, begging me to stay, I thought it was so charming there that I might just acquiesce.The next meadow was not so loving. Soon enough I was falling into holes hidden in the mighty, long grass and then I was slipping into puddles of mud. More than once I fell on nothing at all. I clambered over fences, backtracked, walked in one direction and then another. No matter where I arrived, I was never home. I began to feel it too. Beautiful or not, none of these places were for me.
Finally I found my way back to the woods. Looking timidly into them, I asked myself whether their obvious ability to disorient me may also mean that they could orient me. It couldn´t be, could it? But I was exhausted and out of options. So in I went. Over, under, around, on top; I re-discovered every part of the forest I´d fallen in love with the first time around. This time I had a purpose though and soon enough I´d found a new edge of trees that was tinged with light. Out I walked into open space, frightened of what I´d see next. I was growing hopeless, believing I might never be home.
I could see a rusty red farmhouse, a tumbled-down barn and a translucent hump of a greenhouse not too far away, just past a hill. Underneath my feet were tyre tracks that lead away from me back to my starting point. I looked over my shoulder at the woods, amazed, and then I just laughed. Even if I asked, they were never going to reveal their secrets.
It doesn´t really matter what happened before or after in my life, does it? Moments like this are all that feel unreal.
It's not a perfect metaphor.