I close my eyes and my body instinctively takes a slow, deep breath.

I mull over the smell of the air that fills my lungs. You think I’d be accustomed to it by now, but the smell of the forest is always a pleasant surprise. The smell is never exactly the same yet there is no mistaking where I am, even with eyes closed.

It’s the unmistakable smell of the forest decaying and bringing new life. A constant cycle that has been repeated for generations.

I hear the river running over rounded rocks nearby. The thundering chorus of crashing water can mask other sounds for those who are not familiar with it, but I can still hear more. A curious chickadee lets out crisp whistles before announcing its own name over and over…

Chick a dee dee dee!

A warm breeze flows through the towering evergreens whose crowns make up much of the wise forest were I stand. The needle-like leaves whisper to each other, like old friends. A smile creeps across my face and my eyes blink open. I stand within the old forest, a visitor within the home of towering trees, mossy rocks, and endless amounts of life.

My eyes turn upwards and I am captivated by the sway of the canopy. The breeze causes the trunks to rock side to side, yet they stand resilient to Mother Nature’s push. While watching in awe, I draw inspiration from the strength and flexibility of the forest. Bend but never break.

The waning sunlight tells me that I should begin my walk back, yet my feet refuse to move. The light is being filtered ever so carefully through the leaves, gracefully dancing on everything it touches. It’s as if everything floating through the air is illuminated in one last grand finale, celebrating the day’s end.

I take one last, deep breath.

There is peace in the forest, and now peace in my soul.



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