Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Once there was a very curious child, full of adventure. She'd go on long hikes in the forest surrounding her home. She'd follow animal paths alongside creeks eating huckleberries along the way. No matter how far she hiked in the forest, she always wanted to go a little further. Unconsciously it seemed she was looking for a something in the forest. Every day she'd set out and she'd take a different path than the day before, trying to see where it might lead her.
One day she came upon a clearing in the forest with an abandoned strawberry patch. She recognized the field had been planted by a human because the few remaining strawberry plants were growing in a row. However, there was no sign of human habitation other than the strawberries. She remembered this place and sometimes she would go back there to pick strawberries if she became hungry when she was wandering in the forest. Each time she went to the clearing she thought there must be something in the clearing she had missed, but she never discovered anything other than the strawberries.
She had other favorite places in the forest too. One of her favorite places was a creek crossing where a huge tree had fallen, bridging a creek. The tree had fallen in such a way that the highest point happened to be over the deepest part of the creek. She always wondered if she would make it across the creek while she was walking on the fallen tree. She knew if she fell no one would ever find her so deep in the forest. That didn't seem to matter, though, because she continued to walk on the tree crossing the creek many, many times, always wandering further into the forest.
Every once in a while she would loose her way in the forest, perhaps the path would dead end or the path was too overgrown to get through. At these times she would either crawl on the ground to go under the brambles or perhaps take a stick to beat down the brush so she could make it through. Many of the thickets were very frustrating because they became even more impenetrable the further she would go into them. Then she would have to turn around and go back the way she came. This would always make her angry for she felt she was loosing time going back over her own footsteps.
One day she found herself in the middle of one of these thickets and thought she would never find her way out. She began to think this particular thicket was going to be one of those where she would have to go back the way she came. She decided she wasn't going to go back this time. She decided she would push her way through to the end. Covered with scratches, she kept pushing and pushing, further and further into the thicket, trying to see an end to the thicket or a hidden way out.
When she felt she couldn't go any further, she rested for a while and tried to decide what to do. Standing in the middle of the thicket she felt trapped with all the branches and brush surrounding her and she desperately wanted to break free. She wanted to run to escape but she knew she couldn't run in a thicket. She knew she had to get out of the thicket soon because her frustration was becoming unbearable. But then she thought there had to be an end to the thicket very shortly, because she had gone so deep into the thicket this time, so she decided to go just a little bit further.
She pulled a branch back and found herself looking straight into the eye of a wood thrush sitting in it's nest. She stopped instantly and held her breath, she was less than a foot away from the bird. She could have reached out and touched the thrush. She was afraid to move or even blink. At any moment she thought the bird would fly away, but the bird didn't move at all, and neither did she. She peered down ever so slightly, afraid to move even her eyes, and she could see eggs underneath the bird's feathers. For what seemed like an eternity she stood still and she gazed into the eye of the bird and she marveled at it's closeness. Finally, every so slowly, she stepped quietly backwards, step by step going back in the direction she had come, and she crept out of the thicket.
The Thicket by Linda Starr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at bluestarrgallery.blogspot.com.