0 In Spice

A Walk In the Woods


She's never really been much of a writer. At least that’s what she tells herself.

She's fascinated with the idea that one day she could organize her thoughts into something eloquent. She's always been a big thinker & she always tries to make sense of what's going on in her head.

But it was one of those days.  One of those days where she took her journal into the forest and hopes that maybe, possibly, she might find some inspiration. One of those days where she can't stop thinking. One of those days where she can't seem to figure out the perfect, formulaic words she needs to say. But, there's something about pen to paper in nature that makes things a bit clearer.

She began writing her thoughts.

"I've been so uninspired lately."

She took a breath, put down her pen, & looked up at the sky.

She felt nothing. Again.

She continued.

"Overthinking my words and undermining my abilities. Questioning my future and reminiscing on my past. I'm a burned out flame looking for someone or something to reignite all that's left. I'm want to find whatever it is I'm looking for because I'm tired of the search. I want to figure out who I am because I hate being so unsure. I want to know what I want because maybe then I'll take the steps to get there. But instead, I sit here writing these thoughts. Wishing, wanting, waiting for some type of change. But they’re just hollow words on a hollow page from a hollow human in need of a new spar--"

She ripped the page out, crumbled it, & threw it behind her. As usual.

“You probably shouldn't litter in a National Park...or ever really," she heard a voice say.

Nervously, she began grabbing her things, saying, "Oh, I'm sorry I was just was a little frustrated & wasn't thinking. I will..."

She stopped. When she turned around, she realized no one was there & her crumbled up piece of paper of thoughts was gone.

She felt uneasy, knowing this stranger could open a random piece of paper and peek into her unorganized chaos of a brain. She doesn't tell people much, & she especially doesn't like the idea of a stranger getting to look inside what she's thinking.

But then she realized what her first thought should have been: how odd and unnerving it is that someone would say something, steal her trash, and disappear before she could respond.

A little terrified and a little intrigued, she left her sacred little spot in the forest.

She began going to the same spot everyday to write, with a small hope that she might run into a stranger who knew a bit too much about her. She started writing about the stranger and what she hoped he was. And she couldn’t seem to stop writing.

One day when she went to find her spot, there was a piece a paper taped to the tree where she liked to lean against. It was that same crumbled paper she had lost…or had been stolen, rather.

She flipped it over.

"I see you come here to write a lot."

Her heart sank.

"But not in one of those 'I'm a creepy stalker dude & I want to kill you in the woods type of ways."

She giggled. It was oddly endearing.

Despite creeping up on her, stealing for a week her inner most thoughts, and then leaving a letter in the exact spot she usually sits, (all seemingly major red flags of a serial killer behavior), she believed him. She kept reading.

"I come here to write a lot too. I've always been intrigued by you because you seem to write & throw away & write more & throw away more. I guess I was curious to see what was so incredibly awful that you had to rip it out of your journal, crumble it, and toss it into the leaves.

So I'm sorry I stole a page of your journal, but can we agree it is a little bizarre and a very peculiar habit, and that my curiosity is justified? Or let's think of it as me doing a little community service for the park? Anyways, I have a response to what you wrote, if you care to hear it.

1. Stop looking for inspiration & realize it's surrounding you.
2. You learn to write by writing. Try keeping some pages IN your journal. And if it helps, based on the one page I got to read, you’re pretty good.
3. It’s okay to not have yourself completely figured out. What a boring life it would be to know everything about yourself & where you were going.

That’s all. But, maybe I'll see you around again. And I hope you find what you're looking for."

She smiled, folded the piece of paper, and put it in her pocket.
As she laid down in the leaves, she took a breath & looked up at the sky.

& finally, she felt something.

Photos by: Jade Ehlers


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