This is a story I wrote about a time I went back into the woods at my house. I’ve only shown this to two other people, so this is scary.
Like, I’m gonna go hide in my closet for the next few days because this is so embarrassing kind of scary. I’ve never shown a piece of writing to more than five people–and never on the internet. But I’ve decided to post it. And live afterwards.
It had been a few days. Due to the weather, my trips into the woods had become more infrequent. But today I ventured back to my true home.
Before I went into the depths of the forest, I made a special trip up a path toward the edge of the woods. After travelling uphill for a little while, I came to my newest discovery: a clearing with a few trees and bushes, and beautifully white trillium covering all of the ground in sight. My secret garden was at peace and void of any animals I could see. Breathing in the sweet scent of the flowers, I pictured the place full of deer, bunnies, squirrels, and chirping birds. But I had to move on. The best was yet to come.
As I crossed the bridge, the trees greeted me, whispering their “hellos” as the wind gently caressed their fresh green leaves. The older trees stood by, almost leafless, but still acknowledging my return.
The creek continued its usual babbling, laughing and cheering that their young mistress had returned. The water looked inviting, but I knew better than to fall for its deception. I lightly brushed the moving liquid with my fingers to find it icy cold. There was no way I was stepping into the water until summer.
The vines reached out, encouraging me to imagine yet again that I’m in Tarzan, swinging back and forth. But I shook my head. Not this time. This time, I’m here for a different reason. This time, I have my camera.
The squirrels and chipmunks scrambled out of my sight seconds after I spotted them. The birds chirped their warnings and then shut their beaks for as long as I was around. A couple braver ones stayed in sight but still kept their distance from me. If I tried to get too close for a good picture, they took off in flight. No matter how sneaky and stealthy I was, they always knew I was there.
The butterflies, on the other hand, let me come closer. One even landed on me. I’d snap a picture, and they wouldn’t react. They just sat there until they noticed my shadow cross over them. That’s when they would fly away, lazily flitting back and forth. Up the hills and down the hills, over the rocks and through the woods.
I crunched through the fallen leaves and twigs, tromped through the mud, climbed up the steep hill, and finally made it to one of my favorite places. It was a big, twisted vine that actually held my weight. When I sat down, it only sagged slightly.
I was completely still, and soon enough wildlife started cautiously creeping out of hiding. Birds came closer, and the squirrels and chipmunks inched back onto the path. Not for long, though, because I had to keep going. When I got up, the animals scurried away. The birds flew high into the trees as I walked the opposite of my usual route.
Things quickly changed. Thorns were plentiful, and the leafless trees scowled at me, hissing that I should depart from their sight. The wind was dead and the creek’s cheerful noise was too far away to hear. No wildlife was in sight or in earshot. There was only one word that could describe the sudden change in the forest’s mood and atmosphere: cold.
Quickly zipping up my coat, I walked toward a path leading out of the woods and into the vineyard. I stepped out of the trees, and could almost hear them relaxing as things gradually adjusted to the lack of human presence again. Next time, I think I’ll take a different route.