A Small Request from the Forest

Image of Rose Rowe

Rose Rowe

51 readings

3 votes

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Jury

Note to the Reader: This is best read in a woodland (or a least near a tree).

They say there's magic in the woods. Who are "they"? No one remembers anymore. They faded into anonymity long ago. Some think that the magic is dead, and that it died with people who believed in it. Perhaps it is simply forgotten, left behind in the realm of wood and earth when mankind forsook the forest to dwell and toil amongst iron and stone. Perhaps it lies dormant, until someone truly searches, and finds it again.

We are the only ones who know for sure. We few who remain. Who are "we"? We are the ones who never left. Call us faeries, nymphs, pixies; you know us by many names, but you wouldn't know us if you saw us. We paint our portraits, images you don't recognize, on dying autumn leaves. We etch our history, in a language you can't read, on the bark of every tree. Our voices, faint but familiar, are carried through your hollow wooden walls on the backs of dreams and nightmares. Dreams you don't remember in the morning. Nightmares you surely do.

No one knows how we came to be. We don't even remember anymore. Some think we were born from a child's first laugh. Others think we are the shooting stars that are wished upon as they sail to earth. Whatever the case may be, however we began, the forest is how we exist. It is where we live and work, our home; we built it. We planted every tree, and care for every sprout. We carpet our floors with moss, and frame our doors with ferns. We dance with dappled sunlight in the summer, and sing with the rain in the spring. We converse with the trees as they groan and bend in winter storms. You could say we are the forest.

You think the forest is quiet. Calm, maybe even solemn. But if you listened long enough, you'd know that isn't true. Pause a moment. Close your eyes, and take a breath. Can you hear it? It's in the scurry of claws on tree trunks, the whisper of wind as it caresses the leaves, and the steady hum of energy surrounding you. It's the heartbeat of the wood. You were familiar with this rhythm as a child. We knew you well back then. We were the late-autumn breezes that mussed your hair and made you blush. We were the flickering shadows in the corner of your eye that quickened your pulse as you inched closer to your crackling campfire. You may not have known it was us, but you loved our forest. In it you could be anyone, in any time. It was magic.

Yet, as you grew older, the magic grew dimmer. You grew deaf to the heartbeat of the wood. What once was a September symphony of crickets and cicadas, became simply: noise. You became fearful of getting lost in our forest. But more people lose themselves in the world of concrete and deadlines than on paths of unknown possibility. We know you yearn to breathe air that hasn't yet passed through a vent or a pipe. We know you ache to walk where your footsteps don't echo with cold indifference.

We know that restless stirring; the need to go, to move, and to explore. We feel it daily. It is the forest calling you to once again find joy and wonder in its wild realm. We never rush here, yet still have time to hang dewdrops on the boughs each morning. We have no due dates, no deadlines, but everything is accomplished on time. It is hard to find dust layered on anything in the forest, because we are never idle, never still. We move constantly, whether working or playing.

We need you to believe in us. Humans don't protect what they don't believe in. We need you to fall in love with the forest again, to become enamored with its untamed beauty, so that you wish to preserve it for your children to see. You may not have noticed, but we are quietly dying, and it will take much more than the clapping of hands to bring us back. So if you find yourself wishing to wander through not-so-silent woods, come visit us. If you've been wistful for answers that lie beyond the palm of your hand, come ask us. If you're looking for peace amongst incessant activity, stability existing alongside near-chaos, or possibility in a world of the unknown, you know where to find it.

They say there's magic in the woods. Is it true? There's only one way to know for certain.

Come see for yourself.

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Image of Peyton Slack
Peyton Slack · ago
This story gives a beautiful view/take of the forest. Whether I’m next to the trees or not, through your words I see, hear and smell the woods.
Image of Rose Rowe
Rose Rowe · ago
Thank you!