It has been one of those nights for me. I didn’t manage to get to sleep and at 3 o’clock in the morning I ended up walking and listening to the sounds of the forest. I say forest, it was actually a small wood, but there is something magically therapeutic about being amongst the trees in the dark. Your vision is compromised, and when one sense is deficient, the others boost naturally to compensate.
The forest was alive
I spent my time sitting on a fallen tree trunk just listening. Whilst the woodland is very near to housing, I was surprised by how dark it became. Remaining quite still the forest decided to let me into its own secrets. I hear a fox scamper by. Even before dawn, the birds started chirping away to each other and unknown to them, they included me in their conversation.
Thankfully the weather last night was quite mild and it was no chore just to sit there and listen. After about thirty minutes I heard something scratching through the ground layer of brush. Recently there have been reports of venomous Adder snakes nearby and the last thing I wanted was a close encounter with a snake. (They have always been one of my greatest fears!) I froze up completely with fear. At that point my hearing became bionic and it was almost as though the forest was shouting at me as I could hear even the quietest sound really well. In the end, I need not have worried. I finally chickened out and flicked on my torch. I knew it would ruin any level of ‘night vision’ my eyes had but if there was a snake nearby I wanted to know which way to run. As the beam of light from my torch hit the ground a very startled looking field mouse looked back up at me. I flicked the torch back off and whilst temporarily blinded by the bright light that was now extinct, I heard him scamper away.
A rare moment of fear in an environment I am normally so relaxed in and attuned to.