Lessons from the forest: cross-roads, flow and beauty in death

I sit writing from the heart of Grunewald Forest, on the outskirts of Berlin. Personally, I am at a point of cross-road: having travelled for many months, I recently booked a return flight to the place which I call home, the large, far-away island of Australia. An option exists to extend my travels. However, deferring my return would incur a greater financial burden, or potentially ditching the plan to return completely and staying in Europe (I have dual nationality). My heart is both here, and there.

Earlier today, my decision was unclear, my mind murky. After walking through seemingly endless corridors of tall trees whilst being showered by falling autumn leaves, I could not help but smile in amazement at the beauty surrounding me. I was reminded of a few things, by this wonderful forest, which has blown away the fog in my mind, and displaced it with clarity.

Today, the forest has taught me many things.

Love is everywhere. The trees whisper love. Beneath my bear feet, the ground softly and lovingly holds me. If I let it. Love is within us, it is everywhere, love simply is.

As I observe the falling leaves, I am reminded of life’s perpetual movement. They spin, making their way down, down, down, reminding me of flow. I sit still, on a patch of bright green moss, and close my eyes. I breath in, observing the flow and movement of my breath, and how in turn, it creates a vibration within my cells. With my eyes shut, I allow myself to move, freely, authentically. I pause, coming into myself, melting into the ground, forgetting myself, and accepting flow without resistance. Accepting perpetual movement allows for seamless travel – physical travel from one place to another, but also mental travel; the shift in mindset from here to there. Acceptance of flow and movement allows for growth, it allows for cycles and it allows for progression.

Earlier, whilst walking, I reached a cross-road in the path a number of times. Each time, it never mattered which path that I took – each held splendour in unique ways. A quiet, isolated path opened my senses to the forests unique colours, smells, and movement. A busier path, shared with other people, allowed me to observe people riding, walking, holding hands. Each paths were beautiful. Every decision is a good decision; we need only took look around and recognise the beauty.

Death can be beautiful. It is beautiful. I see this, as I observe the forest’s beauty as it responds to the change in seasons. Green leaves turn yellow, orange, red…then cloak the ground, a magical feast for our eyes. The tree continues on its journey, fed by the leaves as they rot and seep into the soil beneath the tree’s roots. We too, humans, die. By doing so, we create space for the next cycle – it is beautiful, no? It depends on which way we look at it 🙂

I am so grateful to the forest for clearing my mind. I have learnt so much from a simple walk and meditation in this natural wonderland. And in doing so, I have been reminded that the answers often lie in our surrounding environment – there is much to learn by pausing, looking around, listening, observing, and then continuing on our way.

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