Magic from the Forest Floor
A small child sees treasure on a shining wet forest floor. A smooth oval acorn gets slipped into a pocket. And the pockets are consequently filled. One treasure after another found amongst the brown carpet of leaves and ancient shimmering rocks. Cold pink fingers and dirty nails.
I, too, search for treasure. I start to fill my pockets with acorns. They are cold, smooth with a surprisingly sharp tip. I pretend we are squirrels, or maybe chipmunks. Yes, I would like to be a chipmunk gathering acorns to hid underground, making myself a bed of oak and beech leaves, sleeping nestled in the roots of a great oak all winter long.
from Chipmunk Song, illustrator Lynne Cherry
I often find myself walking in the woods eyes glued to the ground. Treasures. Hickory nuts. Small pieces of quartz. Turkey feathers. Porcupine quills. Occasional mica. Bits of egg shells. Owl pellets. Earthy mushrooms. Raccoon prints. Tips of branches blown down from high up in the trees, a taste of the sky.
And now the world gets a new canvas. A blanket of cold white snow. There will be new things to find when we venture out into the woods. Prints of coyote, squirrel, voles, deer, fox. Nut hulls left from a squirrel’s snack. Maybe otter trails by the river.