the geography of the wild soul

All it took was one certain corner. One moment of going a different way instead of just home. And there was the little forest.




It had been planted on purpose, and as I walked through I felt the sense of belonging-to, of human ownership, which claimed each tree's existence. And yet, deeper still, there was the peace of the wild things.

An essential freedom.

Never mind who planted them; they are themselves.

It is not my forest. And I can only go there at particular times, when the property is opened. (Next door is a public forest, darker, random, for when I want foresting. But it is so different in tenor from this little one.) Despite the restriction, something in me connected with something amongst the trees, an old and silent song which we translate prosaically as home.




A little while ago, I found a suggestion by Sylvia Linsteadt of earth constellations. Ever since, I've been holding it in my hands, along with other foraged things - small treeflower thoughts, memories of cobwebs, old ideas drawn out of dark pools of other evenings - as I think on the notion of geography. I've been wondering about the heartlines which weave me into the place of my birth, and the place I am now, and how I may see my destinies in wild flowers amongst the dry, tenacious ferns, and stretchmarks on water, and unexpected little forests.




And I've been thinking too about how we can ever hope find ourselves in places that are so much concrete, and glass, and traffic. But I've come to no conclusions, only sorrows.



The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
A couple more pictures of the little forest

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