“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
― John Muir
“Going to the woods is going home.”
― John Muir
“What’s the hurry to move in?” my friend asked when I declined an invitation for an outing the evening after I was to take possession of my new house?
Indeed. There was no real, or should I say logical, hurry to move in or be moving at night. I could go out for a few hours, surely. I wrestled with my heart and relented. However, the reason I so badly wanted to be in my empty house was that I have been experiencing a pain at being unattached to place. I don’t mean to a dwelling, I mean to a patch of land, to a place I feel called to be.
When looking for a new home my number one criterion was that it be near the forest. You see, I was drawn to stay close to that forest. A forest I have come to love and feel at home in. It’s a place I find magical, where animals dare approach, where I meditate and escape the world. When nothing became available I considered other suburbs with forests. I planned to inspect a number of homes for sale in those areas but, when I felt into it, those other forests were not my forest. Not my place. I didn’t feel drawn to be there. It’s not logical, you’re right. A forest is a forest, right? Well, no. This is not about logic it’s about feeling and about intuition and about what I can only call magic.
I am drawn to nature. I love to wander on the beach, in forested areas and the wild places, away from civilisation. I feel an intricate link with the natural world and connected to a power greater than myself when in nature. I feel at home in nature,so much more than I do when in cites and around people. I have a real sense of the energy of “my forest”. It’s like I can read the history of that place and I feel welcome there. It restores me to connect with the trees and the rocks and the bush. My new backyard feels like an extension of that forest. I can see the tree tops of it from my back deck.
So, when my friend asked me out and I really had no rational reason to be sitting in an empty house or moving boxes out of a storage shed into an empty house at night, this was the real reason. I was longing to be home. Longing to connect with my own sacred space and to set down roots. You can’t reason with emotion, with the sacred and mystical.
I know I can live anywhere but to thrive anywhere? Perhaps not. I feel a fundamental pull to this particular spot. At first, I thought it was habit. In fact, the very same friend who asked me out had me consider if I was just in my comfort zone there. That question took me by surprise and my hackles raised slightly at first. However, living in temporary accommodation, before settlement, I examined that question closely. Staying for a time by the river, a place I used to live, I wondered if I’d made the right decision to stay near the forest. The river was so lovely, the sunsets stunning, the silky texture of the water, alluring. In my gut though, I knew that while I could appreciate the river and its beauty, I really didn’t feel connected there. Then, living in a funky and vibrant inner-city suburb for a month, I began to question myself again. I was enjoying the hubbub and the eclectic crowd but the throb of disconnection and being unattached returned.
I can’t explain the draw to the place I’ve chosen as home; except to say, that since I was a child I have felt the energy of places. From a very young age I’ve felt strongly uncomfortable or completely at ease in some buildings and environments. When travelling I have been reduced to tears when stepping onto battlefields and I’ve vomited as a result of heavy and overwhelming energies of some places. This connection to “my forest” is instinctual and I am so looking forward to seeing what transpires when, in a few days, I set down roots and return home.