The ground beneath my feet is quiet. Fallen pine needles diminish the weight of movement, nearly muting the sounds of the forest. A distant woodpecker hammers a rhythmic beat, to which I continue in silenced syncopation.
My face engages in a slow game of hide-and-seek with the dappled sunlight from the weave of branches overhead. My legs and arms wave through light, warm air. There is no urgency, no excess of activity.
I’m protected here. The soft pillars of the sky embrace my presence, seeking nothing, providing solace. The stillness of their girth contradicting the slight movement that prevails in the surrounding forest: the brush of a leaf against my ankle, a quivering branch as birds take flight, tender flower stems succumbing to a delicate breeze.
Wild grasses caramelize in the sun, filling the air with the scent of approaching summer. Green stalks fade to a crisp beige, the tips piercing air like small spears. Their abundant positions remain poised, yet peaceful, filling the forest floor in heaps.
Sporadic colors of wildflowers dot the view. Changing every week, today the Indian Paintbrushes are drops of spilled red paint on the canvas. Next week will be the Monet colored lavender of the lupine.
And the trees remain certain. The collective foundation of their approval creating an escape that only I know. And I will return, for it is my space, this wild calm.