Voices in the Wilderness: A Day Up Ross Creek

These “journal entries” were written in situ by the hikers that participated in the Ross Creek Cedars Writing Workshop, hosted this July by the Friends. Through a series of prompts, the hikers were asked to respond to this question: how can we tap into, learn from, and channel the creativity of a space as biologically prolific as the Ross Cedars? Meandering along, we used our five senses to witness the wondrous personalities of that forest, both infinitesimal and grand; the result was an equally meandering collective poem that weaves together sensory observations with poignant wonderings and statements of belonging. 

I walk into the cedar forest, 




Birds sing in the hushed silence. 

The gentle creek whispers. 

Giants have fallen but 

New birth has begun. 

My feet pad softly on 

The carpeted forest floor. 

Broken stick, cedar branch 

Smooth, golden, hard, stiff, flexible Hair growing from cracks in the skin Gone from the mother 

Protected by trees, leaves, shade Broken but not destroyed 

Dead and alive 

Where did you come from? How long have you been here? What was it like to be surrounded by fire? 

I feel like an uninvited guest, an infidel in your majestic cathedral. 

But, I am grateful to be alive 

in this place at this time, 

your energy merging with mine. You command our respect. 

You offer us wisdom. 

You give us grace. 

Baby cedar trees 

spring forth 

from decaying 

Mother logs 

Remember to breathe 

The forest gives us oxygen 

Remember to create 

Remember that we are creation 

Remember the gifts: 

Of a day, of a forest, of a creek, of fellow sharers

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