Friday, 16 November 2012

The wrong woods

Scared myself witless by getting lost in some woods. Fortunately I did not become so totally out of control that I began growling, stripping off, and daubing myself in horseshit while swinging from a trunk.

I had plenty of crap to choose from, actually. And a lot of mud. But I retained enough sense of sanity to remember my pocket talking device, so I telephoned my way out. I was texted back to the car park by a friendly fellow home educator who told me I was in the wrong woods.

The wrong woods? Yes! I spent all that time being trailed by children turning ugly and confrontational because I was making them miss their woodland play session and I was in the wrong woods. But the right woods look totally different, don't they?

No wonder woods, trees and forests have the reputations they have. Not for the dogging, but for the spooky sounds, or absence of sounds, and the way those bushes kept creeping along behind me, muttering blasphemies and shaking their undergrowth.

I may have lost my mind a little at the sight of that four hundredth tree, it is true, but it also struck me how I simply have a different emotional reaction to different woods. Some my guts like, and some they do not. Pine-based ones do not smell right. They do not feel right, and the air does not move in a comforting manner. Macbeth would feel quite at home in the clammy embrace of the dead sounds and still airs of the pine place. What a relief to arrive in the beeched-out bits with their red gold crunch and a sensible way of twisting your bark. I was more than relieved to see them.

But it's true, isn't it, that woods are both exciting and scary. And you don't have to be lost to know that once you're inside them, you're not the one in control.


Iota said...

Grit! I'm so out of touch. Came by your blog to see what you're up to these days, and where you are. Judging from the pics of the woods, you are back in England. Am I right? When did you get back? Are you reacclimatised?

I am not going to give you a free glass bead bracelet if you answer my questions, so I'm sorry if that's what you like in your comments.

Grit said...

hi Iota! hope you're enjoying the catching up. you have great stamina to do that. it took longer than expected to reassemble in england; maybe i am still doing it.

i have removed the glass bead seller. i have enough glass beads right now, so he's come to the wrong place.