|Whispers of the Woods
Author: Isandria Lilith Yorkshire PM
The woods are a refuge. My refuge. They change through the seasons, but they always stay my woods. But summer comes too fast.Rated: Fiction K - English - Hurt/Comfort/Tragedy - Words: 1,554 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3062862
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The woods are a refuge. They are a place to be safe, they are a place to be alone. They
are a place to get lost, lost in the good way. They are a place to do everything I want. They are a
place to run. They are a place to sing. They are a place to dance. They are a place to dream. They
are a place to be free from the tight leather straps binding me to the stiff, wooden board that is my life.
The woods are huge, made up of tall, leafy trees that try their best to block out the sky.
Still, the persistent sun pushes through the smallest of spaces, each crack. In some places the
blue of the sky has a space of its own. The woods are a place that is simple and plain, yet
magical even without the glimmers and shimmers. The noises of the animals swim through the
air, filling the woods to the brim with calm sound. As night falls, the sweet song of birds turns to
the crickets' everlasting chirping.
Dreams drift through the wind and take the form of stars once the moon comes out.
Millions of dreams shine and twinkle throughout the dark, deep sky. As we sleep, shooting stars
fly over our heads, leaving only the shimmering dust of dreams in our hair. But in the woods, the
dreams float all day, just waiting to be grabbed.
I know these woods like the back of my hand. Every clearing has a memory, a purpose,
something unique. In one I found a wounded bird, in another, some ancient coins. One is a
battlefield, another is a cage. One is a dreamland, where I lie down and gaze at the relaxing blue
of the sky, the cotton clouds hiding castles in the folds of their white mist, and the stars, each a
dream of its own. Sometimes I just close my eyes there and dream my own dreams and dreams
Everything in the woods is limitless, infinite.
Summer comes, and it is hot as ever. The sun a shining gold coin in the sky, it tries to
burn up the woods, blazing as harshly as it can. I bring buckets of cool, clear water from the
pond between my house and the forest and pour it on the ground in the dry woods. I step barefoot
in the soft mud, feeling the cool between my toes. I bend down and press a clean hand into the
mud, printing it on a large leaf on a tree, then tying my white hair ribbon around the tree and
looking up, dreaming of sitting on the top. I could see the world from there. I could see the world
and dream about the happenings of those far-off places. I could dream about the other planets
out there, the other universes. I could just sit up there and dream about everyone else's dreams. I
could create a whole world up there with princes and maidens and a marketplace. I could sit up
there, under the bright, fiery sun, and stay there forever.
Heat turns to chill as autumn rolls around. The colors change from the green of life to the
burning of fire. Dreams and leaves swirl hand in hand in the sudden gusts of wind. Those small
gales are always trying to blow down the trees of my secret home, but they never can. The trees
are old, experienced, wise, and too tough to let the world blow them away. One tree, though,
is too old. Too many animals have found refuge in it; it has seen one too many storms. Rotting
from the inside out, yet still magnificent and majestic, it falls. I now have a new bridge, a new
raft to fly me through the universe, a new long table for my feasts. One day, I search and search
the woods for my handprint tree. I finally find it again, tall and strong as ever, with many leaves
still on its branches. Its branches are like a forest of their own, crowded and full and woodsy.
My hair ribbon is shredded at the ends. It is dirty and scraped and scratched, but it is there. My
eyes shift their gaze to above the knot in the ribbon, and I see my handprint leaf. I want to take
it home to keep it safe, but leaves don't belong in houses. They have their own homes in woods
and forests and orchards. I have a home here in the woods, too.
Winter comes in with a frosty hand and chilling, clacking teeth, tearing animals' shelters
to shreds with its powerful breath and scattering its white, frozen powder over the world.
Winter settles down, though, and then I return to my woods. I'm a whirlwind of scarves and
hats and mittens as I twirl through the glistening, sparkling snow. Bundled as I am, my cheeks
still turn rosy from the cold quickly under the fuzzy scarves. But I don't care- there are angels
camouflaged in the snow. There are bare trees, reduced to their skeletons. But I don't care- they
will live to grow their coats again and again and again, for years, decades, centuries. And I'm
dreaming of those times. I'm dreaming of the little girl in a thousand years who finds my hair
ribbon tied to a fallen tree. I'm dreaming of a city on the treetops, built over centuries to be
exactly how I have imagined it. I'm dreaming of the river not yet discovered, and I'm dreaming
of the children playing in it once it is. I'm dreaming of the future. Not my own future, but the
future of the woods. The future that will live on forever, will live on when I don't.
This time I don't need to search for my leaf. It is no doubt buried in the piles of snow,
waiting to be thawed out again. It will wait, I will wait. I wait through the cold, and the cold and
snow and frost and ice sparkle, magical and white. But they are still the same woods. My woods.
Still, as the end of the frozen season draws near, the warmth is welcome.
But it comes too fast.
It comes in waves of heat, walls of flame. I had always thought the colors of fire were
meant for autumn. But why are they here right after winter? Why is the heat of the summer
overtaking the spring? Were they in a race, and summer won? The heat is coming too fast. I
stand in the clearing, feeling the summer, seeing the autumn. Something is wrong. I notice thick,
grey spirits flying through the trees, choking me and taking away the air and making my eyes
wet and watery. I hear crackling and falling and flaring. I run. I run home, afraid. Why are the
seasons confused? Why did it feel as if all the dreams in the air disappeared, flew away?
I hide in my small, wooden room for a day. Maybe the seasons will stop fighting spring.
Maybe the dreams will fight away the smoky, heavy spirits that make me cough and cry. Maybe
it will all be better. I just need to wait.
So I wait.
And wait one more day, just to be sure.
And then I go to my woods.
My woods are bare. My woods are charred. My woods are desolate, lost. Gone.
The trees no longer form a forest. They are each burned and bare and alone and separate.
There are no sounds. No animals. There is only the wind, which has changed as well. It no longer
blows through the leaves, rustling and ruffling them. There are no leaves left. The wind just flies
hollowly through the bare, broken branches of the trees. You can hear from the wind's sighs that
it has lost its purpose with these woods. I softly reach out to touch a branch, and it crumbles at
my feathery, light, fingertips' touch.
It's all wrong. I should not be able to see so far. I should not be able to see so many trees
at once. I should not be able to see destruction. Destruction doesn't happen in my woods. My
woods are peaceful, my woods are serene. My woods are calm, my woods are beautiful. My
woods are strong. My trees are too mighty to lose to a spark. Too mighty. These aren't the strong
woods I have dreamed in. My woods will live forever. Longer than I will.
But my woods have vanished.
I go home, and tonight is cold. It is cold and cloudy and empty and lost and alone. I was always on my
own in my secret home of the woods, but I was never alone. I had the animals' sounds and the
dreams in the air and the leaves and the trees and the wind. Now I have sorrow, but sorrow is a
I look up at the sky that night, and there are no stars. No sparkles. No twinkling, winking
lights. No far-off friends. No glimmers of hope.
The dreams are gone.