This letter is part of a book I’m working on, the book is written in the context of letters from one friend to another. The friends are Lady Edith and Mary .. and the year is 1919 Ireland.
My dearest Mary..
I trust my letter finds you in good health ? I must offer my sincere apologies for I fear I have neglected my dearest friend, I do hope you can forgive me for not writing to you sooner.
Why I must tell you that I have felt rather unwell this past summer, quite melancholy indeed. My only salvation was to pull myself out of the gloomy darkness and into the light. I found my saviour in the only place I believe it truly exists, the old forest which surrounds my home. My time spent there has soothed away my worries and woes and taken my mind to a place of complete peace.
My daily visits have proved to be of great importance to my general health. For every day I spend time sitting and resting within the tranquility of the forest. I find some days I walk endlessly around the forest taking the many winding pathways. I feel completely immersed and at one with the world.
I say …. have you ever smelt the earthy, leafy, fresh scent of a forest ? I often stand still and just breathe, the deeper the better, there is simply no other smell quite like it.
Ooh how wonderful it is when the only sounds you can hear are that of the many birds that live within the forest, happily singing as they go about their daily business.
Some times I sit and lean upon my favourite old oak tree, you may think it odd but I have given him a name, I call him presence .. I do believe he rather likes his name. Presence is the most magical old English oak tree who stands tall with such pride, he is surest to be the wisest old tree in the forest. I may sit for many hours with presence as I lean into his trunk I feel most safe. I am in complete peace for this moment, I believe I can hear my old oak tree breathe as I nestle myself next to his bark.
During my time within the forest I have become aware of how many different trees there are, I have taken to writing down details about each tree, I must say I do have many favourites, like the 3 weeping willows that sit besides the lake, they seem to be so romantic as they wave their branches gently in the wind as though they are communicating to each other, with such loving gestures I do believe that are devine.
My other favourites are the hawthorn and blackthorn trees that I pass as I enter the forest. In the spring their blossoms are so delicate, such precious little flowers fill the branches. They do say the hawthorn trees attract the faeries …. there’s many a folk tale to be told.
I do feel a little silly asking you dear Mary, but if I may, do you believe in the faerie realms, the nymphs or the little people ? for they say they dwell within old forests you see. I only ask because on a few occasions whilst sitting quietly within the forest I do believe I have seen them…. tiny little flutters of light that flicker in the air , so delicate they seem to be. A more logical explanation would insist they are may flies or dragon flies twinkling in the sunshine, but on this occasion I feel most sure they are faeries.
I have taken to reading poetry whilst sitting along the lake, I find the tranquility of the water and the peacefulness of the forest adds fervency to the words written by poets. Shakespeare and Yeats will forever hold my heart whilst the trees hold my inner secrets.
I do believe the most creative writers have been touched by nature in some way or other. I shall never be able to put into words how passionately I feel about my beloved old forest, I fear I may not offer the words it deserves.
My dearest Mary our days are long and difficult, I fear the people of this country have suffered greatly. During such testing times we need to find peace and I trust mother nature is our greatest healer.
I do hope you find time to write back to me and tell me how you are. ?
Written by Athey Thompson