The Invitation of the Forest

Forest called Janelle. The strength of her own need pulled her until she was standing under the old moss-laden oak that marked the boundary of her father’s lands from the Elder wood. Clear mystery marked the border. The green of home demarcated sharply into hues of brown and gray, the deciduous forest giving way to the rich browns and grays under the shadowy firs. The scent of the forest changed too, sweet smell of decaying leaf giving way to the sharp scent of pine. Janelle felt more at home here, where the mystery called to her heart, and the trees whispered her name.

She wandered into the heart of the Old Wood. She had never met another human soul here, although the old mothers of her village spoke of the Huldre-kin who cared for the ancient trees. “Just like me,” the Granny had laughed, “with me creaky knees and hip that twinges.”

Janelle sat down now, with her back against her favorite tree, its rough bark digging into her back until the right change of position saved her from its poking. She closed her eyes and went deep, deep into the soil, and far, far overhead where the stars looked down upon the earth. Sometimes she could sense things beyond her own kenning, but she did not seek to explain them. It was enough to feel her way into becoming part of the Mystery.


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