In the Woods

“We went from paths into pathlessness. The woods has many doors going in and out. It is full of rooms opening into one another, shaped by direction and viewpoint. Many of these rooms are findable only once, from a certain direction on a certain day, in a certain light, at a certain time. They could not be returned to either now, after years, or then, after an hour. Windows opened in the foliage, through which, maybe, we would see a hawk soaring or a distant treetop suddenly shaken by a gust of wind. Sometimes these walks and rooms and vistas seemed arranged for us, for our pleasure, as in a human garden. But these, of course, do not constitute the woods, which is not a garden and is not understandable or foretellable even so much as a garden is.”

— from Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Woods enchant me, too. One wooded nature trail we walk opens up to a stand of pine trees, planted in rows. The ground is spongey with fallen needles. The branches are well above our heads, creating a room-like atmosphere. I usually lose the trail here, and I have to search for it. But I never mind. It’s a nice place to stop and look around.


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