I’ve started to notice that perhaps the most “personal” thoughts find a way out of me when the weather isn't the nicest. A sunny afternoon, when we walk around the nearby forest is great. Good mood, playful colors, views. The beauty of carefreeness, a spring in my step, endless paths. My inner voice is in sync with this mood. The gaze wanders along the path even though it’s sometimes covered in gentle moss and rocky surface, fern mulch. It reaches all the way down to all the tiny leaves and touches the enticing smell of fir needles.
But no matter how sunny the day is, it can change in seconds when the clouds cover the sun. Then the forest, too, becomes much more mysterious and dark, the trees become even bigger, mightier, wilder. And the human “trapped” between them so much smaller. Interestingly enough, I rarely experience such a strong feeling of respect when it’s sunny. But when the fog comes down, these feelings become more intense, stronger. The same forest we’ve walked around a hundred times before suddenly becomes almost unrecognizable. We can't even see as far as the next tree. The path suddenly “disappears”, dissolves into the place. A sense of orientation can become blurry in no time. A fear arises, of getting lost, of not finding the way back or forward. Have you ever been in a situation like this?
I sometimes head out to the forest intentionally in circumstances just like these. It's a time when the forest is not only a forest, lush and full of life, but it transforms into other dimensions. It becomes my shrine, the temple where I discover myself, my fears, face my essence, joy and sometimes pain and of course, the immense beauty noticed by my senses. When I’m alone, obviously. The forest becomes a shrine of silence, mystery, aloneness. But never loneliness. The attention is perhaps disturbed only in autumn by a love call, of a buck, naturally. Or, in early spring, of a rooster. High treetops sway above me, sometimes you can only feel their gentle breathing ... Otherwise, calmness surrounds the entire place.
Yes, it's raining. Just like today. Everything is wet, the smell of life in the forest is especially strong at times like these, but why am I even telling you this!? You, who already know with all your being what life is in that moment when it's no longer night and not yet day ... Each raindrop is a reflection of an inverted forest ... I lean on a mighty beech, hug it and listen to its whisper ... The mists slowly hug each separate branch, caress the life inside them and encourage them to blossom ... Sometimes the sun shines through the thick fog. I can see the steam of my own breath and my heart becomes one with the forest ... How a moment captures eternity ... Trapped in the cores of the forest world in the morning coming to life ... I’m knitting an inaudible dialogue with you, wild brother, who mysteriously sing to spring love ... And you who make hairs stand up in the middle of cold autumn nights. I followed your song, discovered great mysteries. I applaud you!
Yes, it's raining. All the senses become more alert. If I mostly rely on visual senses in good weather conditions, on days like these—mysterious, humid, rainy and cold, when you can hardly see one meter ahead of you—the sense of smell, hearing, and touch come alive. And curiously, so does my inner voice. Isolated glances find shapes, structures, sometimes colors... The spring at the bottom of the heart lets out words and emotions I haven't known before. All of this is born in the depths of mighty forests. Deep underneath the words and footsteps of a ramble in such depths, a shiny web is in the making, a cobweb of worlds unexplored ... A fleeting look of a deer, intercepted beauty of a leaf fluttering in the ether ... Or a hug of sudden fog. We’ll never be the same after an experience like this. And this is also part of the magic of the aloneness of silence. The beauty we behold and grasp through other views, too, can inspire, heal or connect.
Petra Draškovič Pelc
Born in the Slovene Štajerska, she chose to live in Kočevje and the mere thought of adventures in the wild nature of Alaska gets her heart racing like a wild animal. She enjoys silence, peace and the beauty of the light-flooded wilds of all the untouched corners of the world, as well as the beauty of her local Kočevje-area and Slovenia. She is an enthusiastic traveler, a curious admirer of nature, a tourist guide, author of countless articles in Slovenia as well as abroad and a doctor in biomedical science, who found her calling in (natural scientific) photography. Throughout her work with ARS NATURAE she tries to express love towards nature and its preservation.