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The Winter Forest

Journey Within

Finally I gave up. I gave up the suffocating inertia that was imprisoning me in my own mind and stepped out of the office in the freezing cold.

It was my lunchtime break. "I have only a few minutes. I will take a quick walk and come back," I promised myself.

The cold slowly engulfed me into its blanket. Cold has a unique crisp freshness about it that alerts your mind to its full vigour. In a few steps, my body gave its first sign of protest by a quick shiver. I never knew that the tip of my nose was such an important part of my body. Not only I was prominently aware of its coldness but it started running in no time.

I continued. I had to today. In a few steps, I entered one of the densest woods near my office. I was welcomed by the thorny bushes first and then a range of growing tall trees. It all seemed like a standstill portrait. Not a single leaf on any of them. Standing in perfect silence, unaware of the world of humans.

But for some reason, I felt that the trees recognised me. I ventured inside this magical place.

The pathways were laden with melting ice. There was a huge display of different types of ice, snow, and their patterns that you wouldn’t find in any art gallery. The little leaves of the bushes had decorated themselves in ice crystal henna. The criss-cross walkaways were lost in a thick fog that probably led to another world. The forest was spread-out as long as my eyes could take me.

Suddenly sun decided to make an appearance. The moment it shone on the trees and the ice fallen on the earth, the world around me lit up in a brilliant sparkle. I was running around like a little girl from one treasure to another, lost in this mystical paradise.

There were big tree trunks laden with moss and snow entwined like old lovers, crystalline grass blades were showing off for the first time, white puffy vanilla ice cream was abundantly been bestowed all around me, ice-glassy transparent roads almost looked futuristic, some special jewels of coloured ice crystals were also offered to me as presents.

As I walked on these mystical paths, a strange feeling started to emerge in me. What if this was a different world to the one I live in? A world where there were no boundaries, no limitations, no rules, no deadlines. A world full of magic, full of imagination, full of peace, and full of life!

Life ran through the leaves and trunks of every tree, life ran through the little moss and the grass, but life also ran through the shape shifting ice crystals, puffy snows, and the fog that was inviting me. The biggest and brilliant life force were the rays of the sun playing with everything around me. They all seemed alive. In their element. Doing just what they are supposed to do.

Life here knew no bounds. You grow as much as you want or stay as little as you want. Whether you are thorny or leafy, you will be accepted and appreciated for who you are. Whether you are green, red or purple the colours you brought with you are equally beautiful. They all helped each other look better. No matter how many trees, grasslands, bushes were present there, they all were enjoying the beautiful cold that was upon them. They seemed to be cherishing and adorning the jewels of nature like it’s time for them to shine. They all were present for each other as one forest.

I was so lost in this kingdom of nature, at that moment I forgot how cold my nose was or that I was barely able to feel the tips of my fingers and toes or how much time was passed by or that absolutely no other human soul was around me and I still felt a warm welcoming presence around me.

I was so lost, I even forgot who I was. What my name was, what work I did, what my nationality was or for that matter, any of my worldly recognitions had absolutely no meaning in that wonderful union of me and the existence around me. I was in nature, part of nature, or rather I WAS NATURE.

As I walked back to my office, my newfound friends "The forest," "The cold," and "The silence" accompanied me and decided to stay in my heart forever.

But somehow, I now know that they all were always there within me. I just happened to find them after a long time.

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