Allgemein, Asia, Places, stories, Thoughts

The guardian of the forest

With ice-cold fingers, the fog reaches for the trunks of the ancient trees, shreds of cloud get caught in the protruding treetops. The trees hardly notice the time that passes for any other living being in the forest. It has no effect on the ancient giants that survive in the eternal fog. Time is not significant, even irrelevant here because the flow of life runs in other dimensions. The trees, the circumference of which are far beyond the wingspan of an adult man’s arms, are covered with lichen, flowers and grasses which conjure up a firework of colors on the dark, furrowed surface of the trees. The bark, unique at every single spot, resembles the wrinkles on an old man’s face that whisper the story of an entire lifetime. A story of joy, suffering, grief, pain, ecstasy and love that outlasts everything, even death. The fog dampens the noises of the insects and the tiny birds who exhaust themselves in the fight around the sweet nectar, observed from intelligent eyes of birds of prey and little, hungry rodents. The wind blows through the lichens and let drops of water fall in cascades from the leaves onto the over flourished forest floor, carries the smell of a strange and far away world. The creatures of the forest slowly start to rumor – aromas that don’t belong here get carried through the wild labyrinth of stems and disturb the fragile balance. Tears creatures out of a sleep that should have lasted another hundred years, wetting delicate flowers with toxic droplets of civilization, poisons air that has never been poisoned before, taints virgin leaves with oily streaks. Petrol from countless engines, smoke from gray chimneys and huge factories, rubbish and garbage, carelessly thrown into rivers and other, younger forests – it is the smell of the final, irreversible death without rebirth that makes the creatures of the forest startle and tremble. They fear for their immortality, which the perpetual cycle of life entails and which man destroys forever.

It’s cold. The rain, which is slowly but steadily falling, permeates the thick canopy of leaves above me and runs in small channels over my hood, my upper body and finally into the waistband of my pants, which it drenches completely. The fog, which flows into my lungs with every single breath, sneaks into my clothes, lies on my heated skin like a thin, icy layer of bleakness, penetrates my heart through my respiratory tract and makes my blood cool down a few degrees. I feel gust bumps all over my body and I try to walk faster to evict the cold out of my limbs. The path I am following for hours now is full of roots and stones, which makes walking more and more difficult. The mud floats my shoes again and surrounds my feet. I ask myself if they’re ever going to be dry again, and I feel anxiously for my electrical devices in my backpack. They are my one and only contact to the outside world, my only option to get help if something happens to me here in the middle of nowhere. A brief look at my phone calms me down – the picture on the screen shows me and my best friend, reminds me that I am not the only person on this planet. The artificial light pulls me out of the state of meditative walking that makes me one with nature around me. Barely noticing what just happened, I answer two messages from home. After a sip from my bottle, I continue on my way. The wind splits the eternal fog gently and carries the scent of the world which I flied from such a long time ago. My heart, infinitely wide and open, cramps with this most unthinkable of all unthinkable thoughts – the return into a world that destroys itself from day to day a little more, that lost all contact to the origin a long time ago, that is full of colors but still so gray. It’s cold. Her body, not solid, not liquid and not gaseous, strolls in the shades between the trees and doesn’t feel the cold that is the essence of her soul. She touches the ferns, which grow on the trunks of the old trees, with light fingers, and she sends a quiet, cheerful greeting in a language no one understands these days. The wind, caressing the treetops with soft touches, paints invisible shapes and letters on her face that quickly blur with the fog. The feeling of threat, subtly camouflaged in the fog, as fleeting as a rare ray of sunshine at this place, passes just as quickly as it appeared. She caresses the wind with tender hands, softly whispering loving compliments and gives him a message on the way that is valuable and unique at the same time. It moves on to carry the memory of this untouched, magical place to destroyed, dazzlingly bright countries of the world to pass the last nuance of hope to the last living beings on this lost planet. It is the message of life that the wind carries and lifts playfully into the sky. A slight shadow of darkness remains on her soul as she watches the ways of the wind, and she knows that the time had come. Butterflies and birds circle around the blurred shape  of her body, and she takes the time to greet each one by name. She shares their suffering and love, their pain and their joy. For a moment, the borders blur, and she is tempted to indulge in the hustle and bustle of life. But she is on a mission. Instead, she is content with a seldom laugh that echoes bright and clear through the fog and spreads in waves of happiness around her. After, there is silence for a second, almost entire stillness, and then the surrounding forest explodes. Buds sprout, turn into leaves and develop flowers in all colors that emit a bewitching fragrance that drives all the little creatures to ecstasy. The volume of all their voices merges into a symphony. Her love for these animals is limitless. With a wordless farewell greeting, she continues to flow over the invisible lines of natural magic, which run deep in the earth like veins, and recognizes countless other giant trees that loom dark against the shadow of the everlasting cloud cover. A strange sensation reaches her heart. Emotions that don’t belong here pervade the air. Fear fills her mind when she sees the first signs of decay. The tar-like liquid that drips from some flowers hisses and vapors when it touches the forest floor. Where it drops, the microscopic organisms of the forest die in droves, row by row they fall victims to the toxic substances from the world of humans. When she stretches out her thoughts to examine the dead spots, she finds none of the lights of life. The cycle has been broken and life has left this ground. Nothing will ever resettle the place where death has raged. Tears of light flow down her cheeks, and grief permeates her soul to the very bottom. It’s getting dark. The path that is not a path guides her safely. The everlasting twilight that replaces the day up here is changing. The silhouettes of the trees are clear at first, then increasingly diffuse against the fog, which still strokes the long lichens and caresses them with gentle fingers. Slowly but inexorably, the trees blur with the clouds and form a dark, impenetrable unit. And then, after an endless pause for a deep breath, the forest, her forest, comes back to life. The flowers begin to glow, fluoresce in soft light that illuminates the surroundings scarily. Calyxes come to life, writhing, pouring glittering liquid over the soft forest floor. Mushrooms, like the arms of our galaxy, screw themselves out of the ground and fill the air with confusing smells that are out of this world. She strokes each one with affection, after which they glow with joy. A dragonfly, larger than the head of the lunar calf hiding between the ferns, lands on one of the mushrooms. Its body, which resembles that of a lion, is covered with azure fur, which emits joyful sparks when it touches the mushroom. Paths of light run through the floor, pure magic. The darkness withdraws between trunks, under leaves and into the cracks of the room, lurks, stirs and becomes matter. Pure black eyes absorb the light. Bodies rise, some small and spherical, others thin and so threatening that the plants slowly gain distance. Eyes as bright as the light of the stars appear in the gaps and also fill the last room with life. They are still walking in the shadows, the inhabitants of the cloud forest, but the night is long. Their eyes follow her queen, some full of love, others suspicious and distant. Silent calls cut the air, make it vibrate, and each one of them conjures up an almost imperceptible smile on her face. But worry flows into their minds through the language that is not a language – even the folks of the night perceived the scent that heralds the end of time.

It’s getting dark. The clouds, ice-cold and yet warming like cotton wool, shine in a magical light that slowly changes from light yellow to dark violet. As I keep putting one foot in front of the other, trying not to destroy the fragile ecosystem, I feel something next to me, fleeting and yet just as tangible and real as my own body. I feel that I am no longer alone. Invisible eyes stare at me, feel me and dig into the back of my head. I can hardly resist the temptation to turn around. I know nobody is there. The place I wanted to reach today is moving further and further away, and I can hardly remember where I actually wanted to go. I perceive a movement from the corner of my eye and turn around suddenly. Nothing. My heartbeat accelerates imperceptibly and all muscles in my body are tensed. I increase the frequency of my steps. I move quickly on the narrow path that will bring me back to civilization. Something bright shimmers. A light at the end of the dark path that I follow glows friendly and promises warmth and refuge in the eternal twilight. Countless moths circle me on the way to the light. After a time that seems like hours to me, it disappears suddenly. My feet keep moving by themselves and when I realize that I lost the path a long time ago, it is already too late. I crossed a border that can only be crossed in one direction. Panic spreads all over my body and closes my throat. The forest is no longer what it used to be. It looks wild, untamed and deadly. I do not know where I am. Small lights like fireflies circle me as I stop and try to orient myself. I flinch when one lands on my hand, and I lift the tiny creature on my index finger in front of my eyes. A small, frightening human face is staring at me, black pupils full of hate are boring into mine, and before I can blink, the being jumps and disappears in the sea of ​​lights around me. I look up in panic. The mist around me circles rapidly and takes on ominous forms that are too tangible to come from my imagination. Darkness condenses in places where no darkness should be and jumps at me. Jumps in my face and steals thought after thought out of my head. Beings that have not lived in our world for a long time emerge from the shadows of the trees. The presence of something that I cannot understand surrounds me from all sides. I see flashing horns, claws shining and confusing eyes reflecting the last light of the day. Pupils, so strange, take me out of my body and make me forget that I’m alive. Emotions, ancient and magical, that we have long forgotten through the technology of everyday life, illuminate my soul like an infinite fire. And then, suddenly, I’m no longer alone. She greets me with unspoken words that I cannot understand and which nevertheless makes sense straight away. It is the flowing language of nature, quiet and yet loud, that drowns in the roaring chaos of our civilization and that no one can listen to anymore, even though it contains the answer to all the secrets. Her fragile structure, beautiful and ice-cold at the same time, holds an irresistible attraction to me. Out of the corner of my eye I see her delicate, translucent shape in front of which all beings recede in awe. Even the dark shadows, blackness that has come into being, filled with malice as old as the universe itself, reluctantly back away. The small path is gone and thorns, branches and stones tear my pants apart and hit bloody wounds in my legs. Blood drips on the floor and small agile creatures with jagged outlines fight for every single drop. The backpack, which was the most important thing in my life a few hours ago, has long been left behind between bushes and trees. Material possession is no longer important in this world of shadows. Bamboo leaves graze my bare arms with their sharp edges. Water dripping down on me from the plants cools my hot body. I feel the weight of my legs, the pain of my broken skin, the numb feeling in my limbs. My body, battered and destroyed, is no longer needed. When the mistress of the forest turns her cool look out of the star-like eyes at me, I know – it is ballast. So, I leave it between two steps, step out of it in between ancient tree stumps and dead leaves. I leave it to the infinite cycle of rebirth. It falls to the ground, and the limits that my physical existence has placed on me my whole life are long disappearing. What I was disintegrates within seconds. Flesh becomes earth and bones stone. Dark blue night flowers and bright, fluorescent mushrooms take it by storm. The smallest creatures feed themselves, horned mice cover the skull, a ruby-red bird steals a rib for its nest. I am death, birth and life. Why inhabit a body as a single soul that can nourish so many other beings? Having brought them to life fills me with infinite joy and we both, the spirit of the forest and I, light up together. We follow an invisible path of magic and over time the network thickens, towards an ultimate goal. The environment vibrates with power that penetrates me and takes away the last remnant of humanity in me. The surrounding area is slowly becoming stony, the dense vegetation of the mountain jungle gives way to an extensive coniferous forest. Moss covers the trunks, and a creature that can only be a fairy shyly hides behind a rock. The tips of filigree wings reflect the light of the moon, which breaks through the clouds and bathes the scenery in a silver sheen. A circular, sparkling pond emerges from the dark. All the energy that I encountered on my way comes together here. Confusing vortices penetrate the depths of the water, the liquid magic. If I’d still had a breath, I would be stunned by the endless swirls of the universe in the mirrored surface. The cloud cover breaks open and the immense depth of the universe is shown in the dark water of the pond together with the giant peaks of the Himalayas, covered in snow and ice. The colors of the Milky Way range from light yellow to dark purple. Absurdly, what is light years up there shows the same palette of colors as the sunrise and sunset in this world. I see red giants, ancient stars inside which the hydrogen has already been fused to heavy elements like iron, shortly before their death. Bright mists full of new suns, shortly after birth, populate the edges and the network of dark matter covers the airless space between the worlds. Golden threads stretch between the stars, pure energy, called life, runs like a gigantic whirlpool across our galaxy and beyond. That is the miracle that people have forgotten to pay homage to – pure existence. Slowly, what I am and what she is merging with the water. I go through everything with frenzy, the trees, the mountains and the unreachable sky. Shortly before we go down, I see a snow-white horse standing on the water’s edge. Joy is the last emotion. So, they do exist, they survived, on the edge of the world. The beings between light and shadow, fragile and yet unassailable, for whom there is no place in a world full of rationality and electricity.

And then, within a blink of an eye, the sky changes and I lose everything I still had in strength. Alpha Centauri moves to the left, Sirius disappears behind the horizon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn move into unreachable distance. This place is now between the folds of the universe, not here and not there, connected to everything that is life held by my mind. This place is nature itself, and it needs a guardian. The last place we haven’t destroyed and cleared, the last place where magic has survived, which people banish from their hearts, over and over again, with every look at the small screens that break down our brains. Those who make us deaf to the voices of spirits, seductive and dangerous, who blind us to the miracles of magic that are evident in every blade of grass and in every living being. Possession, twill, thoughts, everything that made me no longer matters. What matters is BEING, what matters is ME, what matters is PRESENCE, the perception with which we experience the world, the pure existence of the soul. All the possessions with which we disguise, numb and hide ourselves cut us off from what we really are. People have forgotten how to dream and have stopped populating the world with their imagination and fantasy. The milky band in the sky takes me in, and I pass away in the whirlpool of life. 

The abandonment of stability leads to awakening.

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