Where Love Goes To GrowWe all have an environment in which we feel most comfortable. Some people love the beach, others the mountains, and still others like open fields and rolling hills.
I have always adored the woods. I like the trees, the woodland creatures that reside there, the rivers that often snake through them, and the sense that I get when I enter a wooded alcove, is one of safety. I don’t even need that much space. Perhaps all I need is a tree.
I love the feel of bark even when it is rough against my back as I lean against it and read, which is exactly what I used to do as a child. I would climb the trees in my yard, climb up with a book tucked into my pants, and I would find a place where the branches crossed and I would nestle in there among the swaying limbs and read novels. An odd child perhaps, I won’t dispute that, but for some of us climbing trees seems natural.
But thinking about it, what I really liked about my perch was that I could feel apart from other people, feel hidden up there, in a hidden- in-plain-sight kind of way. I spent a fair amount of time there but no matter how many times I ascended, no one ever came looking for me, that is, if they were looking for me, they never figured out that they should look up. They would just call my name and I would scramble down and sort of serpentine my way to wherever they were so as not to give away my retreat’s location.
Interestingly I am quite afraid of heights, but if I feel that I have some control over my predicament I am okay. So although I did head up, I would go only as far as my comfort level allowed. I can remember a particularly gusty day I grabbed the branches, suddenly frozen in fear as they swayed just a little too much, causing me to momentarily loose my balance, and I thought—this is a little risky, but I quickly dismissed it as worth the risk, and that is significant because I am not much of a risk taker by nature.
But I was in a tree. I was home.
The light passing through the branches in the woods also has its own allure for me, the sounds of squirrels, birds; it is like they are greeting me. I shuffle along and I feel welcomed walking among the sunbeams as if into spotlights. Wait. Is that an orchestra I hear? Maybe it’s just the wind passing through the leaves; an easy mistake. This is how I feel, what I feel, when I am in the woods.
So when I met my love in a park one day and we decided to walk, find a path into the woods, it felt right to me. Here was someone I could bring into my world, hide with in plain sight. I did feel as if those woods were mine, after all, my home turf, if you will. So maybe that is why when we kissed there it felt somewhat otherworldly. I was in love, not only with him, but also with the fact that we connected in a place that enveloped us in its beauty, as if the entire union was sanctified.
There is a reason I think, that we all have a place in nature in which we feel most at home, whether it is sandy or rocky or windswept or littered with pine needles. It is because we are rooted to the natural world intrinsically as living beings. But maybe it is also because it is where love is born, where it grows, and it follows then that we are drawn to it.