I loved The Magic Faraway Tree as a child. I read it over and over. I loved going on adventures with Silky, Moonface & Saucepan Man to the lands at the top of the faraway tree. To this day I find forests and woodlands so very magical & enchanting.
I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised, if on my adventures a fairy, elf or other woodland folks crossed my path. I would simply bid them a casual ‘hello’ as I would any dog walker – or dog for that matter.
In adulthood Robert MacFarlane has taken up Enid’s magical mantle. His books: The Old Ways and Underland are the most beautifully written narratives on how places, landscapes, nature and people are inextricably bound, in space and time. His writing transports you and inspires adventure. It is a joy to read something that makes you look at the same old places in brand new ways.
At this time of year the trails in Sutton Park are mud. Churned daily by scores of bikes and people. I can hear the hum of traffic and people moving, the echo of twigs snapping & voices; yet the trees afford me a space all to myself and I am transported, outside of time. The only thing to focus on is the trail in front of me. I am in a state of flow.
The Ogre in the Tree
I walk or ride in our local woods most days, each time is different and there is always something new to see. I have been down this particular trail hundreds of times and never spotted the Ogre in the Tree.
Maybe it was the light, maybe it was the mud. Ogres like mud – right?
He was staring off down the trail, craning his neck a little, like he was expecting a friend to appear at any moment. He didn’t move as I rode past him, slipping through the mud.
When I turned around and looked back – he was gone.
The Trail & Curiosity Beckons
We are curious creatures and the trail constantly calls you. Asking all the questions we ask of paths. Is it the right way? What is around the corner? It has to be safe? Where does it lead?
Out of the Darkness & Into the Light
The dark door at the end of the trail begins to glow as I ride towards the edge of the woods.
I emerge into the clearing. I have stumbled upon a secret meeting. Trees loom over me.
Their silence demands I should explain my presence, like a child caught. They stare at me: waiting.
We acknowledge each other and it is I that must leave and go on my way.
I have not seen another soul. There is no time & no pandemic. I find a smile stone tucked into the hollow of a dead tree and know that I am not alone. I leave it there. A treasure for the next person to find.
Thanks for reading
See you out there
A cup of tea for Mary & me
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