As far as I can see the narrow footpath winds ahead of me. Jagged tree roots meander over the earth, here and there lies a large mossy stone – I have to be careful not to trip. Near the ground, left and right of the path, grow blueberry bushes, green creepers, patches of grass and large clovers, some with dewdrops in them. In between are star-shaped white flowers, elegant blue harebells and, a little higher, lady’s mantle and aconite with the flowers still in the bud. Light green ferns shoot high among the pines and birch trees that reach into the sky. When I put my head back in my neck, I see the blue between the branches.

Sunlight passes between the trunks in wide, sloping lines and where it hits the earth, patches of forest floor illuminate in bright greens. Fog curls up in the rays of light. I stop, close my eyes, and inhale the scent of resin and pine needles. A gust of wind rustles through the tops of the trees – for a moment the birch leaves make a silver sound. A stream murmurs in the distance. Birds chirp, insects buzz, invisible animals scurry in the bushes and yet… it is quiet.

There is no time here, no rush. The forest does not need anyone and does not disturb anyone. All my senses are on edge and yet my head is completely empty. I forget myself.
This is where I want to stay, one with nature. Without words, without desires, without fear. Unnoticed, but perfectly happy.

This is the prologue of the book ‘Onderweg. Alleen over het St. Olavspad’ by Francine Postma