It was a scene of mystery and make believe.
For the active mind, it could easily have been the stuff of horror movies, but for the visionary and dreamer, the artist and romantic, it was a place filled with surrealism and beauty.
Standing amongst the trees, I was surrounded by variety. Some tall and some short, some bent in gnarly twisted ways, while others formed a straight line to cut through the chase and get right to it. Each one with the common goal of reaching for brighter skies and to stand proud and tall. The place itself was an unexpected surprise and it had to have been one of my favorite moments from my recent trip. Somehow it always pans out to be moments like these, the ones that just happen with little to no planning that steal my heart.
There was something mystical about the rolling fog that settled in from the ocean and perhaps it was the atmosphere, the feel of it that left me in magic and wonder. Always a great combination if you asked me and very addictive on top of it, I might add. I couldn’t get enough of how much natures added element transformed the little trail. It was a short stroll from the campground down to the beach as my pace slowed and gave into the scenery that begged me to take more time. I found myself walking through this fairytale wonderland, eyes wide open, new visual treasures and surprises hiding around every bend, it was a place of discovery while the fog was adding drama and intensity to the feel.
I saw the mystery giants (trees) as far as the eye could see, reaching far into the gray misty sky and disappearing all together in the thicker layers of fog. Faint silhouettes were visible in the distance as the mist was slipping through the foliage of the ever changing scenery. Perhaps one could get lost as the reference points kept changing and lost in the sense of the moment was all I was willing to be. New trees became enshrouded, while others peaked through and became visible. It was a constant play of give and take, with mystery and clarity, a continuous cycle repeating over and over.
I remembered knowing people in the past who didn’t particularly cared for the fog, developing such a dislike for it that it bordered on the edge of triggering depression. I don’t live in an area prominent to fog and I enjoyed every moment of it. I found it to be beautiful and magical, mysterious and haunting, serene and soothing all at the same time. A perfect balance of intrigue as well as a little fear. The fog offered a soft cover, disguising otherwise harsh, sharp or dangerous conditions. The world became a little more comforting and strangely less demanding.
It was my artistic mind that allowed me to drift further into this make believe state. I was reminded of little red riding hood, wearing a red cloak as she was walking amongst the gnarly bend and the straight, facing the fog of the unknown with such intuition, instinct and confidence that it never appeared spooky or daunting. I don’t know where this vision came from and what might have reminded me of it, but it seemed to be the perfect place setting for it. Right besides her was a beautiful gray wolf that unlike the fabled fairytale, presented no threats and tricks, but was rather a companion to her. Not to be mistaken for a cuddly pet as he could easily offer fierce protection if called upon, bet there was no need and he remained a partner in crime to her wolfish, raw spirit. Strong he stood as a token of coexistence and that everything is possible. Always…
I watched the red cloak and the wolf glide over the forest floor without making a noise as my own beautiful fabled tale was playing out in my mind. I watched the distance between me and my fairytale visions become greater as the shilouette of little red riding hood and the wolf got smaller. Almost gone, eyes still fixed on the red magic, I suddenly realized that I was watching myself. I don’t know who the wolf was by my side, but I don’t have to fear it big and bad and know that I have my protection. I’m sure there is more meaning to this, meaning I might not understand yet and time will reveal the message and the lesson that transpired.
What I took away immediately was that the fog reminded me that I don’t always need to see the whole picture in order to enjoy the things that are visible right now or which are to be found around each turn. Do I really have to have control over everything and what could be if I surrendered to what is in front of me? Would I find it difficult to adapt to its ever changing form? Have I not done so already or is it that I’m embarking on the next level that will deepen the experience? Could I allow it to lead me down the path, to enjoy the magic appearing out of nowhere as it did in the foggy forest amongst the giants….what a delight it would be.
It was within this foggy scene that I saw clearly and remembered that clarity never really leaves us. It’s merely a matter of perception and what we choose to see, how much control we need to feel so we find safety in protecting our vulnerability and our heart. And it was within this foggy scene that I saw clearly that none of this matters to me, that I will be who I am in the continues hope to inspire and leave my mark in a positive way.
And lastly this foggy scene inspired the newest thing to be acquired in the line of random and unusual things that I want and feel drawn to out of the blue. And it is that of a long red velvet cloak to feed the artistry vision within to someday reinact the scene playing in my mind that I somehow feel will hold some significance over my near future.
You stirred something within,
quietly, but quickly growing louder,
you call my name to follow you.
A tug on my soul leaves me yearning,
to marvel in the freedom of your presence
and it is YOU I gladly choose.
You are my drug, addictive, habit forming and hard to resist.
The woods have always been magical, for as long as I can remember, from very little on. I remember a special connection to the trees while walking amoungst the giants underneath the thick cover of branches and leaves. I remember touching the bark as if picking up the life within, to feel the heartbeat that would command mine to match and to slow down and to just breathe. I envision younger me standing with my head tilted back to watch the sky above and follow the rays of the sun peaking through, while leaving tiny spots of light dancing on the forest floor. Beams of casting light, shedding warmths and little pockets of magic everywhere. One step at a time, my feet carry me over the soft mossy ground as I listen to the rustling sound of leaves and breaking twigs beneath my feet. It’s peaceful and all I hear is nature and the chirping of the birds. Carefree, my heart fills with wonder and I’m reminded that “Going to the woods, is going home.” -John Muir.
I remember the clean aromatic smell after the rain, the damp forest floor with the hint of mushrooms hiding beneath the cover. The morning dew on plant life that burned off in the morning sun and the misty, foggy mystery that gave way as it was the beginning to a beautiful day.
Today, my journey and my experiences in life, relate to my feelings of the woods. Sometimes hidden in fog, the whole picture is not always visible and you could easily take a wrong turn. Sometimes you just need to have faith and follow the tiny spots of light to allow them to lead you out of the darkness. And other times, you just have to surrender and let everything find it’s way. To believe in the outcome to the questions that remain unanswered, to go home as often as possible and remember that everything in life is about renewal and sometimes letting go.
Being a sucker for quotes and the way the woods make me feel, it’s only natural to end this post with a few that strike a chord with me at this time. For there is wisdom all around us and always will be.
“The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods.” -Cheryl Strayed
(Our campsite last weekend -New Brighton Beach State Park)
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep” -Robert Frost
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life. And see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” -Thoreau
I’m in love with Critters big and small, and these little furry friends always steal my heart. This furry little Marmot was sunning itself on a boulder on the way up to Matlock Lake. Curious he watched us hike by on the trail, never moving from his comfortable basking rock. Or perhaps it was his “Ruling Rock” 😉