Pine fragrance invigorates all my senses allowing me to breathe the fresh essence of the forest. It is the most pleasant sensation, which spreads through my whole body simultaneously grounding me in and letting me fly.
When I found this place, I knew little about where it was and what it looked like. On arrival the overwhelm of it all took over leading me to a breakdown. That’s the power of the elements in the wilderness and its effect on me. I am no longer surprised by it, as it happens every year, but I do continue to marvel at its power. There is forest on one side within a few meters from where I stand and the mountains on the other with an open view of a loch in front. The house itself is like something I have dreamt about for what feels like eternity, one that you read in fairy tales about.
It took me a total of six days to come back into myself with each day settling that little bit more into this remote and wild place. I took long walks through the forest and up into the hills and day by day it wove me into its tapestry with carefully placed stitches, so eventually I felt a part of it.
If arriving here causes such profound response in me, you can only imagine what leaving is like. It is the hardest thing I have to do every year. I am so tired of this repetitive cycle. The sorrow’s return is unbearable, and it takes me weeks to settle back in on the other side.
Every morning, I wake up and greet the forest with a bow. It feels like the most natural thing to do for my body and everything that I am. It is like a constant companion that is always there. I can only imagine what it might be like to lose it. For now, it stands in its silent composure and greets me back with reassurance that there is another day to make adventure of. I bow once more to let it know I appreciate it being there. I could live with such a friend by my side. Pine’s perfume sits on a gentle breeze, as I stare in peace at a view ahead. It offers possibilities and adventure. A sense of space here is luxurious. ‘Take your pick, it says. Go here, go there, it is all available and alive and in offering.
I put my boots on and walk into the forest. Immediately a feeling of peace envelopes me. I feel found and lost all; held and spread out; delighted and watchful all at the same time. Most of all I feel at home. If I was to perish to the world in the moment of being immersed into the richest earth element of the forest, I would be glad, only glad. I find it hard to walk out of the forest, as its pull and hold are strong. Branches scrape at my legs and arms as if wanting to join my skin and I respond in lifting and holding them close. Moss under my feet is inviting. I put my hands into it lightly and take in the feeling of the earth rich and warm. There are big stones and boulders in this forest here and there. They lie in silence in emerald mossy coats guarding the forest’s treasures. It is as if any minute they would break open or rise up to speak or fight or show themselves to someone either in friendship or a threat. To me they feel alive on the inside and the casing around them is just an armour, a pretence, like a game of playing dead.
Next, I take a walk into the hills. It is slow as I stop often to take it all in. There are views as far as the eye can see; variety of angles and perspectives are immensely rich. There are rivers, giant mountains, lochs, blankets of thick forest, paths weaving themselves up and down hills. I must consciously take a breath in after walking for some time. It is too much and not enough at the same time – a feeling I often experience here.
Walking for me is essential to who I am. It is what it means being fully alive. I love its physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive and creative aspects. It has a lot to offer to someone, who might struggle with their thoughts. It is a heavenly activity for anyone creative – a writer, painter, film maker, photographer. It offers a full body workout where at the end of it everything screams with pleasure. It does for me. I love to be aware of my aching legs, hot flesh and stiff back. It signals to me that I am alive and my body works its mechanism just fine. It often feels ecstatic to me when I return from a walk. My mind is always clutter free and there is a creative idea or two born out of my wanderings.