She patted my head, bits of my plain brown hair to fall free of their
braid. “That’s what I like to hear.”
We bustled about for a few more minutes setting up the rest of our camp site before mymom started at the fire. She had brought pieces of wood from home, but I insisted on venturingout into the green trees and picking up some wood for myself. She agreed reluctantly after somedexterous arguing on my side and I skipped out onto the trail, wide eyes glinting with excitement.
tay within shouting range,
Scarlet!” Mom hollered after me. I answered yes and
continued on my journey, picking up little branches and bark like they were Easter eggs. My
friends didn’t like camping; they thought the outdoors were scary. But I loved everything about
it. The cool breeze, the soft sound the trees whispered, the random chirps of birds and frogs- theyall warmed me to a happy bubbly state.The forest was alive- nothing like the concrete and brick walls of our little town. Therewas something magical about being lost in the abyss of green and brown that my little eight year
old brain couldn’t quite comprehend.
My hands were full of wood, but I
didn’t want to go back to the camping site yet. Although I couldn’t see her, I knew that my mom could still hear me
so I allowed myself to
venture a little farther. I hadn’t been back this far in the camping area before and the new groupof tree’s was a we
lcome site. I continued to look for fire fuel, opting only for things that were
“special”, but most of my attention was on the tall, thick trunks that sprouted from the ground. I stopped in front of a tree so tall I’d imagined any animal that climbed it c
ould havetouched the sky. Its bark was rough and jagged and tiny insects trailed its groves with pieces of food hankered on their backs. They moved fast as if my eyes alone were enough to kill them.
Didn’t they know I was their friend? Didn’t they know I didn’t hurt tiny things?