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To walk into the forest is to walk in the space of possibility. As you walk, you look up and see the manifestations of another season reaching curled tendrils out into the world, inviting new growth and expansion. Looking horizontally offers you a sense of existing in the right place, secure in your space within the contrasts that define each breath you take. When you glance down, you feel deep into the earth and into the endless possibilities that lie under the surface, ready for the time when they are called to venture into being.


Walking through the dappled sunshine, you trail your hand over the bark of adolescent trees and the prickly remnants of last year’s ferns, meandering toward somewhere else, undefined, yet magnetic in its pull. You don’t quite know what brought you into this place where trees hold vigil and wildflowers pay homage to the peacekeepers, but you keep walking. Each step envelopes you further into the vastness that is found in each leaf, each blade of grass, each seed, each bit of soil. The air is cool here, with just a hint of moisture that makes you feel at ease and tranquil in your body. You sense that it is important that you are right here, now. You sense that there is a possibility for you here that can be unfolded and put on like a new skin. You sense that you will not completely shed the old, but the new will enhance what you already are and invite a fresh brightness when you let it uncurl.

The forest is your teacher; your guide. It is ancient yet always new, wise and searching, strong but fragile. Through its evolution and growth you can see your own. The forest is a mirror of your past and of your future. It is your present. It can show you the pain of the world, and it can provide a canvas for great beauty. The forest can show you healing, and it can teach you how to let it joy rise from the depths of sorrow. It holds onto peace for you when you let it slip through your fingers, and when you can’t see past your own searching. It forgives you when you don’t remember your own possibilities and when you tumble into the vastness that gives everything life with your eyes closed, instead of open.

You keep walking, making sure that your presence does nothing but add to the texture of creation’s beauty as you drink in the clean air and exhale back into the flow of the forest’s ancient rhythms. Your mind is still foggy about what draws you onward, but your journey continues.   A solitary leaf falls into your path, and as it settles onto the woodland floor you know that this path will continue.  You will manifest your possibilities – so will this forest, and others.  Peace, unencumbered, walks here too, in the forest.

Cover and mushroom photo by Daniel Sjöström


Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr is the author of 12 Tiny Things: Simple Ways to Live a More Intentional Life (due out in January 2021) as well as four other works of non-fiction. A commitment to cultivating ways of being that are life-giving and sustainable for people, communities and the planet provides the foundation for her work. She lives in Minnesota with her family where they tend a large vegetable garden, explore nature and do their best to live simply. Despite working for an app-based tech start up, she plans to put off getting a smartphone as long as possible. Learn more about her work at