On my stompabout today, I went deep into the woods of San Felasco (city park, not state) and got myself lost. There was a thrilling feeling to being lost in the woods, even though I knew I would find my way back out again. I could hear the road nearby, but I could not see it, and I had a deadline to meet. The path I started out on was wide and clear, but the one I now was on was small and somewhat tangled, with a wilder feeling that I expected. I felt a sudden thrill of panic.
Everywhere I looked, there were plants, plants and more plants. Not a human to be seen. The plants started off as nice friendly things, bright green and happy. Palms with their fingers intertwined, woven together in friendship line the wide paths through the forest. Below the fronds of the palms, a happy trio of fiddle-headed ferns grows nearer to the ground, delicately tuned and ready to unfurl as the season advances.
What appears at first glance to be a twig with leaves turns out to be a spray of almost flowers. In a matter of days or even hours, the flowers will burst forth to show their true glory in shades of white tinged with pink.
The sun shone brightly on new spring leaves, almost flowerlike in appearance. Bright red leaves that will fade to green, then back to brown intermingle with the brilliant green of a forest in spring. Backlit gems of emerald green show shine brightly in the darker woods.
As I walked, my perceptions of the forest shifted with my rising doubt in myself. The plants I encountered became less friendly and happy. The palms were woven with sorrow for their dying comrade, which had been stripped of green to turn to dust. Petals fallen expose the inner secrets of the flower, aching in their tenderness.
Then joy! as I recognized my way back out. The leaves were green again, the trees more welcoming (although maybe still a little dark and twisted). None of the bears or mountain lions or alligators I feared showed up to eat me. I made it out alive, to bring these images to you.