The Awakening Forest

A grouping of seedlings in the forest

The sleeper has awakened. The Greenmantle’s tendrils rise from the earth in the form of seedlings, unfurling leaves, and plants sprouting from awakened roots. My love and I went to the forest at Tynehead yesterday morning and saw bald eagles, a massive grey heron, little brown wrens, squirrels, early salmon minnows, and many many crows. It had been so long since we had visited. There were so many changes we were not expecting to see; houses torn down and reclaimed by the forest, new trails laid down, and road construction everywhere. The parkland had doubled in size. This is a good thing as the park is in ever-expanding Surrey and could just as easily have been bulldozed and covered in monster stucco houses. I watch the houses crawl up mountains and over once forested fields and it saddens me. The cougars, coyotes, and black bears are being pushed out of their homes and more and more they are invading our yards picking off house cats, lap dogs, and yesterday’s garbage. When will we learn to stop growing? When will we see that the houses replacing the trees are a plague and not a sign of progress?

I worry, but the Forest isn’t worried. Can you hear that sound? It is Old Man and Old Woman laughing a laugh to chill the bone. They know, as I do, that we will fall as every great civilization in history has. We will fall like we felled all the ancient trees when we first colonized the Pacific Northwest. The Forest will swallow all evidence of us and it will be as if we never existed. I see it preparing; the moss covering concrete, the roots cracking the pavement, the tree saplings taking over abandoned parking lots and forgotten corners… You can’t stop Spring from coming and green life growing. They have been here long before us and will be long after. Respect the green.

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  1. Melissa says:

    Living near Detroit I am very aware of how vines can completely cover a house, how trees can crack concrete, and how thoroughly a dead place can be taken over by the green.

    I love your photos. We’re still waiting for a rather late spring to arrive.

  2. Nikkie says:

    Beautiful photos Sarah! We are quite aware here in the Military Base where I live of how Nature can reclaim Her territory! Because buildings belong to the Government, civilians are not allowed to use any abandoned buildings and there are a few near my house that has been in disuse for quite a few years. It is amazing how slowly but surely and then suddenly and with gusto, the trees and climbers and grasses and moss and amazing tiny little plants have taken over those places! Personally I feel very honored to have a connection with such an awesome Power! Have a lovely Spring!

  3. Melanie says:

    I love your post, I feel the same but you express this all far more eloquently than I can. A good reminder of the strength of the earth.
    Great photos Sarah!

  4. Amy says:

    Beautiful photos! I fully agree with you. The earth will tolerate us only so long. She is making her voice heard clearly!

  5. We Northwesterners do have it pretty good

  6. Riverhorse says:

    What beautiful pictures, Sarah! Really lovely to see all the new growth and to get a small picture of your enchanted forest. Beautiful and honest words as well. Here in Northern CA. ( in spite of the radioactive fallout) new shoots are also sprouting along with the baby animals. Much like the Pacific Northwest, too much construction and the mountain lions attacked a horse yesterday! When will we learn? Blessings on you, Joey

  7. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing these photos. I’m surprised to see your Land so vibrant and alive. Here in Michigan the Bright God and Dark God are still fighting, but the Bright One is finally gaining sway. So far, I’ve only seen Skunk Cabbage and Crocuses blooming, but they are two of my favorite heralds.

  8. Rachel says:

    Lovely photos, and words to match. I watched a program on Chernobyl and they filmed how much nature has taken over the area now. I keep thinking Earth’ll simply kick us off one of these days. Hmm, maybe I should redact that thought!

  9. Marlene Munro says:

    So nice to see plants and trees with no snow on them..I say that because it is snowing here today but I will say it is a concern to see some trees diseased..I have to wonder cause of all the spraying that has been going on ..chremtails..going criss cross over the skies..at least here in Ontario.. is it happening out in BC too?? I love to see the birds and fish and yes even mice outside that is–I love to plant flowers and veggies and I like nature and the so called weeds..even dandelions that I have made tea to have peace with them..Thanks for the pics

    • The fungus on the thorn trees is called black knot and it’s caused by wet spring weather. The only way to remove it is to cut it off, but as the trees are in a park, they are left wild and unpruned and so the fungus spreads.

      Luckily for us here the government recently banned aerial spraying. They’re even trying to stop people from using pesticides and insecticides etc on their own lawns and gardens. It’s pretty awesome. I can pick anything in the wild and not worry about it having been covered in chemicals.

  10. Thanks so much everyone! I’m glad you like the photos! It was such a beautiful walk in the woods.