Walking in the forest today, I found my mind drifting, eventually settling on the words of Pablo Naruda’s beautiful poem, ‘Lost in the forest’. Although Neruda talks at one point of Autumn, the rest of the poem resonated with me. There is something so special about Portglenone Forest in Co. Antrim; it’s history of mature woodland cover since ancient times comes to life with colonies of Bluebell, Wood Anemone and the aromatic Wild Garlic. So much beauty.
Lost in the forest…
Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.
Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.
Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind
as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood—
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.
‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together’.