Lost in the Woods

Winter woodland path

Winter woodland path

Will I stick to the well worn path, pressed into creation by the passage of thousands of feet before me? If I listen to my mother and all the wisdom of those who have lived long, I will. If I play safe I will find I reach my destination without incident, without any of the chaos of the unknown and the unexpected. But it’s not in my nature, and even as I try to stay on the path, a murder of crows takes flight around me, shaking the woods with their harsh calls, and I stumble into untrodden leaves.

Snowdrop bank

Snowdrop bank

Curiosity tugs me on through the unmarked woods, following only the transient caws of the crows. This trail of sound leads me over a hill and into a virgin bank of snowdrops, unseen by human eye until this moment. Beauty waiting patiently for anyone who dares to seek the unexplored, and I tumble to the ground breathless with awe.

Snowdrops from earth

Snowdrops from earth

Gazing around me I realise I’m lost among the trees, the path of sound has vanished into the air, and I’m alone. Into this lost space the characters of the trees step forward, introducing themselves to me one by one.

.

Oak lovers entwined - together forever

Oak lovers entwined

Enchanted to meet you

Enchanted to meet you

Many have dark holes chiselled through their bark, leading into the unknown spaces within.

The gregarious extrovert

The gregarious extrovert

Scary Oak

Scary Oak

Old crusty

Old crusty

Safe and comfortable - come on in

Safe and comfortable – come on in

Come on I know you want a peek

Come on I know you want a peek

Mysterious and full of character

Mysterious and full of character

If I could only shrink, like Alice in Wonderland, I would leap in a heartbeat into these unknown and mysterious holes. I imagined as a child that I could live inside a hollow tree, warm and safe from the wild storms in the woods, and I feel that old yearning tugging at my heart. Each entrance holds the promise of something different, something new and unexpected.

But I know I must find my feet again, and walk back out into the safe and structured world known by all. I follow the trees and they lead me back to the path, which no one ever needs to know I left. I brush the leaves of adventure off my shoulders and smile.

Sometimes it’s really good to get lost because we find things we didn’t even know were possible. Getting lost opens up new opportunities and angles which we might never have imagined, but it requires a degree of trust that we will find the path again. Getting lost can be a great catalyst for change, and the unknown territory will usually keep us wide open to the details around us. This is a great help to being mindful, as when we are somewhere unfamiliar we will not slip so easily into assumptions, and we can use our curiosity as an anchor in the moment. Ironically I find getting lost is very grounding, as it brings me sharply into my senses and the world around me. It opens my eyes and my mind in fresh new ways.

You can get lost in the detail in more photos in this weeks photo challenge.

You can also see more photo journeys looking at the fine details all around us at Chittle Chattles lovely 100 Steps challenge.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
This entry was posted in change, mindfulness, photos, spiritual, stuckness, weekly photo challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Lost in the Woods

  1. Your words and your pictures are just beautiful! I felt like I was taking the walk with you!

  2. Mary Mageau says:

    What beautiful lyric prose enhanced by some wonderful photos. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in order to explore new delights and directions.

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  5. ladyfi says:

    Sometimes getting lost is the only way to discover new things!

    Wonderful wonderful shots.

  6. Gaye Abbott says:

    Getting lost is the BEST! What other time can we have our senses so wide open as everything is so fresh and new…. an adventure if one does not panic! Your pictures of trees reminds me of an art project that I did several years ago when I was studying the impact that our disconnect from nature has on our human psyches and hearts. Here it is for your readers: Try this for a wonderful creative exercise which keeps you mindful, curious, creative and in awe. Take some sort of camera with you when you go on your next walk in nature (as you did). Take random pictures wherever you are drawn. Don’t forget to look for the magic! Print each of the pictures. Turn them face down on a table or the floor and move them around from the position they were in originally. Grab a journal or photo album and a pen. Now turn over the first picture and start writing a story based on that picture. Turn over the second picture and continue the story using this picture as a guide as to where the story goes next…and on and on with each photo. When you have turned over all of the photos mount each picture in the order that you have turned them over to go along with your words. Voila! You will have a very original story mixed with nature, fantasy, magic and adventure – great fun. Try it!!

  7. ehkstream says:

    To make new paths, perhaps eventual roads for sharing; one must wander off and find the small places to imagine in. Thanks for this happy sidetrack!

  8. I relate to your description of trees as ‘introducing themselves.’ Beautiful, beautiful old trees. They have obviously spoken to you, without words. Thank you for introducing them to me to for passing along their story. Beautiful place, great photos. D

  9. Amy says:

    Giant trees, so majestic. Great shots, Mackenzie!

  10. dorysworld says:

    What a beautiful post 🙂 The words and the photos are just lovely

  11. Stephanie says:

    Love, love, love tagging along on your journey. Thank you!

  12. Madhu says:

    A stunning set! The trees in No.3 seem almost human!

  13. Janine says:

    Thank you for taking us on such a walk with you. I love thinking about places like this out there in the world as I go about my day in the city. 😊

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  16. Opalla says:

    Awesome photos of the trees and I love your close-up shots.

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  18. Colline says:

    Such an interesting tree. Makes me think of the story by Enid Blyton: The Folk of the Faraway Tree. I feel that this is a tree where those folk may have lived.

    • Oh I loved that book as a wee girl….thanks for reminding me of it. I seemed to have lots of stories about people and creatures who lived in trees 🙂 and I agree, if we looked closer we would probably find these folk tucked away inside that tree 🙂

  19. craftschen says:

    Look at these pictures, have been able to smell the smell of nature, is a kind of enjoyment. thank you!

  20. i just found you, and i want to say i adore your pictures and your words, and i would very much like to meet your oaks.

    also i am horribly jealous of you for your snow drops. i only have actual snow, still.

    • Such kind words….I’m glad you enjoyed meeting some of these ancient old oaks. They feature in a few of my posts as they make such good subjects. They’re very good at holding a pose 🙂
      These snowdrops seem to be evoking lots of envy…..they are such a welcome sight of spring always. Yours will come soon, and by then mine will be all gone 🙂

  21. nuvofelt says:

    These are beautiful pictures. Maybe you would like to consider joining us in 100 steps http://chittlechattle.com/2013/02/20/100-steps-a-trifle-belated/ I normally post each week but family ailments mean I’m late again!

    • Sorry to hear about family ailments….I had my share of them last year 😦 I did mean to do this sooner, but better late than never I’ve tagged this post to 100 steps…and will keep it in mind for future posts. Its a lovely theme, thanks for the reminder 🙂

  22. wonderful straying from the path with you

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  24. maybrick2001 says:

    I’m jealous of the snowdrops!

    I wish there were that many down south here in Brum.

    Cheers for sharing the piccys:)

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