In a forest of bamboo, you can actually hear the trees growing. At first you’re not sure what it was that you heard. A rustle. A scraping noise like wood against stone. A stirring as leaves unfurl into crisp, sharp points. Bamboo can grow up to ninety-one centimetres in a single day, which is about four centimetres per hour.
They don’t grow all at once, but at intervals.
One scrawny, unremarkable tree will suddenly appear higher than all its companions. A sapling becomes knee-high in an instant. The tallest, thickest tree in the forest is suddenly dwarfed by its much younger neighbours.
You continue to wander between trees as yellow as a Wheatfield. Clouds weave around the thick cylindrical trunks poised in the air, always climbing higher into the sky like Jack’s magical beanstalk. Under the morning sun, vapour rises from the damp soil. It shimmers with a wavy light. The scent is earthy and pleasant.
It smells natural.
It feels clean in your lungs.
You pick your way between the trees, not bothering to select any single direction. When you have no place to go, sometimes getting lost is the best direction you can take. Other times it’s the only direction you can take.
The more time you spend in this enchanted place, the more you begin to feel as one with the forest. Your heartbeat becomes fainter. Your breathing less laboured. You feel yourself slow down as your feet start to drag along the ground; they get heavier and heavier, refusing to lift as you move along until, finally, you’re rooted to the spot.
The longer you stand still, the deeper your roots sink into the soil. They slither through the earth, seeking water and nutrients to help you unfurl your own leaves as you rise higher and higher into the sky.
Your thoughts start to dissolve.
They disperse into the air like a fine mist.
You close your eyes, and feel yourself grow as you bond with the forest.