Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Wood You Remember?

The pictures in a recent blog post of Sunshine’s caused me to recall not only the way the area around my childhood home used to appear, but activities I partook of while there. Until now, it never quite occurred to me how it affected me.

Just blocks away from my house I could enter an expansive woods. My friends and I would go cavorting. We even made a map of the sort-of trails and had fun coming up with names. We’d trudge through, pretending to be all manner of things, I’m sure. From explorer to hobbit. Maybe even hobbit explorer.

In a different direction lay another woods. This one, as I recall, seemed much more savage. Zaph (who is no longer with us in this version of reality) and I used to carry a boom box blaring 80’s tunes and whatever else we deemed necessary to bring to his house. For that is why we’d trek through (besides the fun of it)…to reach his house. He lived in a huge home situated right amid the trees. It even has a lake with a pier. A gravel winding downward path serves as a driveway. The kind of downward path that made you call upon all of your driving skills and gave the impression of embarking on a grand adventure. But we would approach on foot through the back. Through the woods.

I also remember seeing bats flying over my backyard with great frequency. Coming from the direction of the woods, of course.

Thanks, Sunshine, for resurrecting these memories. It makes me think. Perhaps I enjoy fantasy stories because I had a place to act them out. Winding through bushes and tree trunks and over stones. It could have been the forest of Endor, Mirkwood, Sherwood, Tulgey Wood, Where the Wild Things Are, Tom & Huck’s island or the Neverland. With the bats and wildlife, is it any wonder I am attracted to such stories?

It’s all gone now, sadly. Totally suburbanized. The poor children there…they’ll have to hunt for fairies in their gardens, if they have them.

“So into the woods you go again, You have to every now and then.” - Sondheim

1 comment:

Danielle Mari said...

Ah, Pete. What a nice post, and I'm so glad that my photos sent you there.
Gosh, I was always such a city girl. I guess I remember going to the woods near Salt Point, California. We'd go camping there often. On one side of Hwy 1 sat the ocean, snarling at the sandy cliffs. On the other side wandered forest land, great for hiking and exploring. Legend has it that on first entering the forest (age 7 or so), I started to cry. When asked what got me to upset, I answered tearfully, "Where are the sidewalks?"
That place grew on me though. I was given the gift of seeing a mountain lion, many jack rabbits, families of deer (d-d-d-deer deer deer), and a myriad of snakes, bugs, and birds. The best part, though, was waking up to dew on my lashes and a world whose light was siphoned through a green kaleidoscope. Delicious for your eyes!