As kids we’d run through the woods behind my house and build a massive stick fort between the trees. We’d pretend we were wild men, scavengers and experts of the land. We coated our faces in dirt and plastered mud on each other’s bodies to look the part with twigs sticking out of our unkempt hair. Coming home my mom would welcome us with a hose already in her hands, giggling at our strange appearance and ready to spray us down with freezing water, a battle between reality and our strange make believe world of losing our powers that we felt within the trees, transforming from woods people to regular everyday kids sitting down for supper with crusty mud behind their ears. Those were the good days. Where have those days gone? Since when has our sense of wonder and love of mysticism disappeared like the rocks we set as a barrier around our fort? We would come back to the fort the next day and they’d be gone! Like the wonder of our dreams and the clarity in our minds to then become dizzy and dark: depression, anxiety, panic attacks. Nothing is bright in this world like it was between the trees.

Where have you gone Andy? Back to the trees? Have you disappeared in the wind? Have you decided to run through the woods and never come back? Oh How I’d love to join you. Don’t forget me, look for my childhood spirit, I know she is still there roaming freely with twigs in her hair and dirt covering her hands. Barefoot, brave, and imagination glowing behind her eyes. Look for those eyes, they will guide you.

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