Parents, grandparents, ancestors, long ago you paved my path into the heart of the forest. You walked in her stillness and let the hushed tones of the trees speak softly through your psyche. Your breath slowed in time with her pulse in autumn and winter. You felt the spring sing in your veins and the summer ignite your inner flame as she held you safe through the seasons of change. You let her call wash away the boundaries. She took from you the cares of life and wrapped you in her blanket of peace. In her bosom, you were whole. There in the woodlands you found respite. Nothing existed except the moment—the sound of the leaves beneath your footfalls, the droning from a high hornet’s nest, the cool damp or the glistening heat or the gentle wind brushing your face.
I cannot go into the forest without knowing you are with me. My blood, my bone, my life remember that you passed this way before me. I have stepped where once you stood and seen the wonders that you beheld so long ago. So today I walk in the rain to see the little brook flowing on its journey, to touch the dripping branches and feel my feet sink in the soft ground. Only one set of footprints in the mud perhaps, but a long line of loved ones walk with me.
© 2015 L. D. Henderson