Wednesday, February 01, 2012
The forest is quiet, as quiet, I think, as if the trees were blanketed in snow. I took a walk on a familiar trail during the early morning just to see what I could see. Even the sound of the ubiquitous blue jays was distant. The wind wasn’t stirring, and the forest felt as though it was dozing.
I tried not to make any sound as I walked along the old path. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, my boot found a twig and cracked it. Even that sound didn’t alarm the residents. If they heard me, they gave no sign. The woods might as well have been deserted.
After a while, I went off the path and walked through the woods. I can’t do that in summer when the underbrush and annual plants are growing. So winter is the time when I walk where there is no trail.
I know of two nearby ruins that were once foundations of either barn or house. This fence is far enough away from both that I’m guessing it marked the far end of a field. The fence is built on sloping land. It’s hard to imagine this spot was ever good for crops. It’s nearly as hard to picture these forested hills as cleared land.
But cleared they were and now the forest has reclaimed its own, taken back what was once taken away. But for how long? I always wonder how long any of the forests around me will remain. Construction and building, houses and developments move ever closer, grow ever larger, year by year.
We are too greedy, we humans. We always want more and bigger. We grow ever more populous. The next time these forests are taken, they may never be able to take back their own again. Nothing that humans build is as beautiful as a forest, not even one that is dozing through a snowless winter.