The forest is calling me these days. And thankfully it is right at my back yard. The water I frequently visit as it’s my most immediate calling. The proximity to water and all it’s aspects is very soothing: the physical and metaphorical reflection, the lulling sound of the waves’ rhythm... Sometimes competing sounds are complementary, sometimes dissonant: the waves clashing on the rocks, my boots tapping on the seawall at the exact pace of 2 full-circles of the aquaplane’s propellor... I observe, listen, become one with the moist air, the sights and the sounds. And come back feeling cleansed and refreshed.
The forest, on the other hand, calls for digging deeper into the secrets of the soul. It might hold some wonderful surprises, but also some scary ones - encountering fears and demons in the darkness between the branches and amidst the bogs and marshes of the woods.
Circling Beaver Lake this morning, it was inevitable to think about death and decay.
Two runners pass me, providing a temporary comical break: a gay couple with identical pet dogs that although tiny seem to be pulling their respective owners forward with their leashes tied to their belly buttons...
Back to the marshlands though: it’s being sucked dry by invasive waterlilies: foreign beauties that take over the lake and turn it into a blooming garden. Like ornamental dolls, they look prettier and smell nicer than the skunk cabbages, but unfortunately are just nearly useless for the wood ducks, beavers and other wildlife that call this lake their home. If the forest is the place of healing of the planet, the green lungs that reverse CO2 into oxygen - then we must start eradicating the invasive species that threaten it from thriving.
Urban meets nature in every corner I set eyes on here. In the Pacific Northwest it is sometimes hard to say who wins the battle: while logging and concrete are a constant concern for wildlife and natural habitats -- moss and wandering ferns take over my porch without any cultivation attempts, and coyotes roam freely in the city.
The rainforest is a constant source of inspiration to me, not only because of its rich flora and fauna; but also because within it lie so many answers to life’s quest. And the most difficult search is - when you don’t even know what you’re searching for... Thankfully, the forest provides some answers even to that.
Amid the greens and browns, an orange colour pops out: no, it’s not a persimmon that a careless park goer spat out on a log. Nor is a group of lanterns on a distant, dead Douglas fir that is still standing upright. These are the most peculiar, slimy bright orange fungi.
You are probably wondering by now what is the point of this post, as I do. There is no point, except for the wonderment of the forest itself. No matter what else I will bring up we will end up on the same intersection as in the many paths and trails that divide and meet again in Stanley Park.