At some point last summer, while Bryan and I were sitting on my porch admiring the fireflies in the woods beyond my yard, he remarked that I had an enchanted forest in full operation in front of us. Truly the forest must be enchanted. It certainly has enchanted us. So if one has the ability to enchant, surely they must themselves be enchanted, correct?
The woods are enchanted though. These particular woods are new to me, however. When I was a kid, I had a bigger enchanted forest.
It sat behind my neighbors across the street. I lived on a hill, and to enter the forest I had to cut through someone else’s lawn. The terrain was unsafe and steep. After most of the back yards ended, the slope simply dropped off and created a small creek in between an ascending peak on the other side, not far away. Once you got down to the creek safely, it became much easier to explore, as you had a complete view of both sides of the canyon, and you were walking on flat terrain. If you saw something that piqued your interests, you could easily spot it and climb up the sides to investigate further. Within this enchanted forest, I found a number of enchanting items:
- A car (yes, a whole car)
- a Beanie Baby
- two tires, 15" tires
and some of the most incredible bugs you’ve ever seen.
Filthy? Probably. New Jersey? Definitely. Enchanted? Completely.
The enchanting properties of such a fantastic place should be evident. Being so small in such amidst such a vastness in a suburb that almost seems devoid of any such place is truly an enchanting experience. I have many good memories from that forest.
One that distinctly comes to mind was a time back in middle school. School was cancelled mid-day due to snow, so I got home significantly earlier than my mother for a change. I went to take my dog, Sadie, out back to play in the snow. We had to tie her onto a tether out in the back, and for whatever reason, she managed to escape before I managed to attach the leash. I had to chase her deep into the forest without a leash and in no way dressed for the weather to get her back. I managed to catch up with her atop the far range of the canyon, further up the hill than my house. By this point the snow had managed to cover the ground with several inches, making the terrain that much harder to navigate. Having finally caught up with Sadie, I grabbed on to her collar and immediately noted a serious problem. I had no way of leading her back while crossing the canyon. Sadie was a big dog, and very strong for that matter. She had the power to lead me, especially at that age, whenever she so desired. Leading her down such a steep slope seemed very dangerous when maintaining my grip on her collar. I had no desire to choke her but I couldn’t afford to release my grip of the collar, not even for a second, or I’d lose her again. I somehow managed to convince her to “slide” down the hill with me into the center of the canyon. Getting back up the other side was much simpler, and once we were out of the woods, she ran right for the house and in the back door.
The entire experience seemed like such a hassle and caused a lot of immediate frustration while I was out, but once I got back, I felt the enchantment. The scene was so still, untainted, and white. I felt energized and invigorated by the action, the landscape, and just getting out and playing with Sadie. It’s those memories I cherish, and it’s what enchants the forest for me.
Now I’m in a new house, with a new enchanted forest. I have no memories here, but I don’t need them. These woods have their own way of enchanting me, and that’s what makes them new.
I've had just about all I can take, you know I can't take it no more!