The Forest is Calling

A meditation to be read aloud by candlelight

It is night. Imagine, if you will, that you are inside a cottage. It has one room. There are no lights. The candles have all burned down and been snuffed away. You lay on your bed, rough muslin stuffed with corn husks, the pitch-sealed log walls very near to your bed. You are reclined, but restless. You feel called somewhere else. You push your wool blanket aside. You dress yourself slowly and deliberately. You cross the thresh-covered floor to the big cedar door and slowly open it. You look out into nature and quietly step out.

In front of you is the forest. It towers with ancient redwood trees. A gentle mist lies between plants, receding as the ground cools from the warm day. Called forward, you step into the forest’s lush dimness. The moon is pregnant full, and so brilliantly glowing that you can navigate your way. As you step fallen needles snap under your feet. The fragrance of damp fertile soil floats to your nostrils as your feet shuffle against it. Sharp and sweet sap scent surrounds you. The air is fresh and damp as the plants open their pores to the night. The forest is alive. The forest is breathing. Wild hares and tiny lizards rustle the foliage on the floor. The night birds sound from the canopy, gentle and curious calls.

Pushing softly through fern and shrub, you carry on, deeper into the greenery. Patches of moonlight fall on your face between groups of trees. The moon is giving Her blessing to your night time walk. The wilderness can be fierce, and you are armed should you need it, but you feel a firm feeling of safety. The forest is calling to you. It is your duty to answer. She beckons you to experience Her beauty, rest safe in Her arms. The world is changing quickly and you may not always remember Her. You must savor this moment while you have it.

You come to a redwood of astounding size, the grandfather of the forest. It commands reverence and inspires awe. This beautiful part of nature must be hundreds of years old. Its roots create a branching platform, and you carefully walk up the largest one and sit at its base. As you do so, you feel as though you are growing roots yourself. Out of the palms of your hands and your legs: first tendrils, then thicker roots, then mighty underground branches searching for water deep under the soil. And then, much in the same way, your back extends with the trunk. Your consciousness travels up, up, up the mighty towering tree, through hundreds of years of rings and growth, to the leafy treetops breaching to the heavens, where you are bathed in the shining pour of the harvest moon. And in this moment, She is with you. The forest, sending you to the very tops of her most bountiful view. The forest, rooting you to a steadfast place below the earth’s surface. The forest, whispering, promising: I will always take care of you. I will be here when you need me. All you must do is come to me.

faith looking forward