The World I Left Behind

All you need is faith, trust and a little pixie dust.” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I stood at the edge of the green, mossy path looking in at the covered cove of evergreens. The princess pines blanketed the forest floor, hiding the little curled faces of the fiddleheads of fern, peeking up through the needle covered earth, which still held the dew from the early morning frost.

The tangled limbs of the newly budding deciduous trees were dancing and clanking as the whistling wind blew through them. I drew in a deep breath of the sweet, earthy smell of the dirt below my feet as it filled my nostrils.

With a breathy sigh, I thought to myself, “Ahhh… I have missed you my dear forest friend.”

The past winter had been mild compared to other snowy and blustery years. The dirt road that lead to the trail path had healed nicely from the winter thaw and was passable with few ruts and unpredictable muddy potholes. I felt an internal sense of peace and gratefulness, for the opportunity to live far away from the overly-crowded communities of high-rise apartments and cityscapes, as the maddening rampage of the “virus” was stealing lives, like a thief in the night.

The heavily, wooded trail weaved past noisy marsh ponds as the chorus frogs filled the airwaves with their mating song and the matted, brown grass of the meadow, warming itself in the sun, as it seemed to play a game of hide-n-seek amongst the clouds. I shrugged off a small shiver. My exposed skin absorbed the heat of the sun and the cool dampness of the forest left my bones. A smile started forming on my molded, eternally saddened face and for the first time in months, I felt a tiny twinge of glimmering hope filled with happiness and peace.

My thoughts wandered jubilantly with the promise of new beginnings. Knowing soon, that the beauty of woodland flowers would appear, like the purple, blue and white petaled wood violets, yellow buttercups, and the brilliant white tri-petal trilliums. Each Spring, the forest floors, roadsides, parks, and banks of native streams and lakes would be blessed with the welcoming sense of rebirth of their hardy, native wildflowers and plants, no matter how mild or harsh the winter season may have been.

As a child, I would walk barefoot and carefree on muddy and grassy knoll paths near my home, playfully uncovering the new growth of wonderment, gathering nature’s treasures of the forest and meadows, and making fairy houses for magical creatures I imagined would inhabit them later.

This particular day, I felt an emptiness that was left behind from my innocent childhood years. The simple beauty, sound and smell of the forest seemed to flood my mind with memories that tugged strongly at my heart strings. I yearned to return, once more, to that time when my child-like self was able to keep a creeping sense of gloom and doom from surrounding me from a distance.

The late morning air lightened, as the sun glowed an angelic, heavenly ray of sunshine through the forest trees. The narrow trail straightened, became wider and I could see in the distance, a small rocky outcrop of dirt that seemed to draw my curiosity and attention. I quickened my bouncy cadence up the trail when something unusual, abruptly caught my eye. It was a small structure made of twigs, moss, birch bark, pine cones and small rocks slightly tucked under a bed of princess pines.

Fairy House!” , I softly whispered under my breath.

Call it a coinkydink, happenstance or pure serendipity, but I believed my morning’s journey and heavy soul searching may have manifested this magical quantum leap from childhood to adulthood.

I explored the details of the maker’s handy work while pondering its existence. Was it made by a playful child, teenager, or adult? How long had it been there? What inspired the creation? So many questions ran through my mind, as I started to form my own story line and conclusions. Time seemed irrelevant and my imagination became another social media share with one quick click of my smartphones’s camera shutter.

With faith and trust and a little pixie dust, I walked away hesitantly, trying to assure myself that others would treasure and not destroy this little, magical fairy house, that had captured the innocence and fragility of mother nature’s surroundings.

Returning home, I had a renewed sense of belonging and connectivity to the universe. I reminded myself to never forget the world I left behind. My memories will guide me through life and the truth of my future will always be found in the keys of my past.


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