The forest has many moods. I often find myself wondering if it is alive. The forest is calm tonight, and I feel welcomed into its embrace. I hear its breath stir the emerald leaves above my head. The rustle sounds like a prayer. Light filters down illuminating my path. Specks of dusk appear gold in the light, and I exhale causing them to spin in their descent. I cross my legs and sit. I will stay awhile, and meditate in my living cathedral. All worries and thoughts disappear. Trials become irrelevant and the world ceases to matter. The forest is older than I am and ever will be. I am humbled by its wisdom and awed by its beauty. I bow my head and send up a prayer. I receive no response, so I call out loud. “Surely, God can hear me within my cathedral!” The only response is chatter of birds. So, I sigh.
For the first time in my cathedral, I feel alone. The golden light and chattering animals are no longer a comfort. I become intensely aware of my humanity. I call out for God or man, but am greeted by silence and the cold echo of my own voice. The walls of the forest no longer offer comfort. The chatter of animals communicating no longer seems like music. I feel caged and mocked. So, I scream.
I strain for a response. I look around and catch a glimpse of myself in a puddle by my feet. I see a twisted face. “Why are you so sad?” I ask myself. Strangely, I find a response in my soul. I was lost, but now I’m found, blind, but now I see. I was never alone; not in my cathedral. I was never abandoned or mocked. I have always been safe within my forest. So, I sigh.
The air is sweet and fragrant with new blooms, and a symphony of crickets and birds compose a lullaby just for me. I am lulled to sleep and dreamily wonder if I should leave, but the wind whispers “no” softly in my ear. So, I stay.