Press play to listen to the forest as you read.
Welcome to the Wildwood, a magical forest where anything can happen. Take a soft deep breath, and slowly let it go. Let’s do that again. Take a deep breath in, and slowly let it go. Feel your heart slow down. You can close your eyes if you want, and use your mind’s eye to picture your adventure. Do you see the trees, towering tall over head? Can you hear the soft rustle of the leaves as the wind tickles their branches. What about the soft tapping of the brush and grasses under the trees?
“You’re here!” A friendly voice calls to you. You open your eyes to see your friend Addie running toward you, her curly red hair bouncing about in a loose bun. She’s wearing an outfit ready for adventure- a pants and tunic that remind you a little bit of a pirate. Her smile is catching and you find you’re smiling right back. You look down and realize you’re dressed similarly. The fabric is soft and comfortable. Your top is in your favorite color, and your pants a light brown. A pair of boots are on your feet. Your fingers tingle and your toes twitch as your excitement grows.
“What are we doing today?” You ask.
“Well! Today we’re just going to take a nice long walk.” She points to the path that’s right ahead of you. “It’s so nice and warm, isn’t it?”
You feel the warmth of the sun on your face. You close your eyes and tip your head back just a bit. The suns rays make your eyes relax and feel soft. Your skin tingles a bit as it warms up. You take a deep breath and smell the towering pines. The air has another scent to it that’s sweet, and reminds you a bit of cinnamon.
You open your eyes and Addie smiles. “Let’s go,” she says. The two of you walk in silence. But the woods are not silent. In addition to the rustling leaves, you hear the sounds of many different birds. Some make sharp little tweets, others complicated whistles and chirps.
You hear another sound that kind of sounds like a bird, but is a little different. “What is that?” You ask.
“That’s a squirrel!” She tells you. “It’s warning the other squirrels that something potentially dangerous is near by.” She laughs. “That would be us. Because we are super dangerous” You laugh with her.
As you watch the path ahead you and the brush to the sides, your eyes find so many things to look at. There are tiny, bright orange mushrooms growing in the deep green moss on a fallen log. They remind you of little umbrellas and you wonder if a fairy would use them when it rains. Some moss is a lighter green and reminds you of a carpet, covering the rocks. It’s soft beneath your fingers as you brush over it as you walk by. You stop for a moment and look at it closely. The more you stare at it, you begin to imagine what it would be like to be so small that the moss looks like a jungle. How long would it take you to get from one end of the log to the other? Hours? A day?
You notice some trees have a flaky green texture growing up and around their trunks. It’s all shades of green with bits of white. Addie tells you it is called lichen. It looks like something you’d seen on an alien planet.
You walk a bit more in companionable silence, when Addie stops suddenly and points up ahead, where the path just starts to curve. “Look,” she says softly. It takes a moment, but then you see a little white ball of fluff twitch, and you realize it’s a small bunny. It sits up, still for a moment, before it jumps away into the brush. Addie reaches a hand out and brushes it along the bark of a tall, wide maple tree. “Sometimes it’s nice to stop and take a second to say a little thank you to the trees”.
You reach out and feel the rough bark beneath your fingers. The texture delights your fingertips and you wonder how old this tree must be. You try but can’t get your arms all the way around it. You look up and smile, seeing the bigger branches curve up toward the sky, almost like a hand reaching up for the sun. You suppose, that perhaps it really is doing just that. The deep green leaves and thinner branches sway back and forth with the slight breeze. The sound reminds you of a thousand drum symbols being brushed back and forth, back and forth. It’s making you a little bit sleepy.
You continue walking a bit further and after a time you realize you’ve looped right around through the woods, and are heading back to where you started. When you come to the end, Addie waves and smiles. “Thank you for coming with me today.”
“I’m glad I could come!” You reply waving back.
“See you next time!” She grins and runs off down another path to your right. You smile knowing that you’re sure to explore that path another day.