The Forest

It is strange to think that I have been here many times before… but I do not feel like I usually do when I am here walking through the forest. It has a different feel about it today and I am not sure I understand why or if I like it!

I am typically happy and content walking in this vast jungle of giant trees with their overhanging branches and lush green leaves. But as I walk down the winding pathways that could lead to anywhere, I am aware of the silence that has engulfed the forest. it makes me feel nervous and I shudder, its not that it is cold, it’s quite a pleasant afternoon, it’s just the eerie silence is making me on edge it doesn’t make sense, it is usually a hive of activity with the chatter and laughter of families spending time together and the sound of the birds singing in the trees.

I continue to walk alone lost in my thoughts. I look ahead and the sky is barely visible amongst the trees, but there is a small opening, where a beam of early afternoon sunlight casts a shadow upon the gravel pathway ahead of me and I breathe in the sweet scent of the greenery. The snapping sound of a twig nearby startles me and I look around to see who is there, but I realise I am still alone, and it was my own foot that had caused the twig to break.

I have reached the lake…what a tranquil sight, the glittering sunlight and calm ripples that stretch across the water in front of me in the afternoon breeze are calming and reassuring. I sit to take in the scenery and have a drink, it is a good job I bought one, as the Café is closed until further notice. It is now that I have time to reflect on what is going on in the world with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is just unreal, as I sit here, everything seems natural and normal, apart from the fact I am alone. But I know in the real word things are not as pleasant as sitting here and taking in the sights. I take a moment to gather my thought.

A rustling sound in the hedge row make me jolt back to reality… I wonder what it is… probably just the wildlife carrying on with their normal routine, but I feel a bit cautious. My heart is thumping in my chest and my senses seem to be on high alert…why am I so scared? It is probably just a squirrel or a hedgehog. I check my watch, it is getting late, I think it is time I made my way back.

I have had lots of time to think about the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the walk back, what will happen to the wildlife, will they be ok without visitors to the area, how will the forest survive. I shudder again, but this time I am cold, I have just  realised its early evening, I have been here hours, that’s what I like about coming here, It’s so relaxing and you can get away from everything and the time just flies by. The forest has suddenly taken on a whole new persona in the dusk light, the trees look more menacing as I pass by them with their twisting branches and swaying leaves in the cool night air and the dark shadows they are casting across the ground make me frightened, it smells damp, like when it rains, it smells like wet wood and damp moss. I am more aware of the noises, they seem louder and nearer, I quicken my pace until I am at the entrance to the forest.

Hopefully, the next time I visit you forest we will be back to normal…whatever the new normal maybe? But I will back!

Aaron Hawthorne (13)

Wixams Academy