Charlotte is a wolfy woman wandering between worlds with words and plants and pleasure and paint. She designs forest gardens, makes ancestral art, is a Soul Midwife and occasionally fashions a rug out of old jumpers while she’s dreaming.
The children were kept from the forest, as the people forgot what they’d known. The forest is dirty or scary or dead, they’d always been told or been shown. But it didn’t take long to remember, when we took the forest to them. Their stalk and their sneak, their listening hands, their wonder and laughter and song.
They walked like fox and buzzed like bees and listened more rapt than owl. They touched the bark and smelled the trunks and sent out minds to follow the roots. Sculpting like the nest-makers with moss and mud and feathers. They shared what they’d heard from the birds with their mums and picked wild leaves for their teachers.
Protecting worms from careless feet; asking seeds when they wished to be planted. Making sure that all wild beings were safe in the places they tended. The adults had forgotten to look after the land and ask what it was that it needed. But the children sang to the trees that they loved and wondered if fungi had feelings.
That year of young re-enchantment unfolded like buds amidst birdsong. Only one turn of the earth round the sun before knowledge took root and grew strong. No walls or fences exist anymore, between the forest and village. The children are grown, with some of their own, and their love of the trees carries on.
Children of the Forest © Charlotte Dean 2022