IlIn the same way one is astonished – really astounded – to realize Trevor Howard was called Trevor, it transpires Epping Forest … is a forest. A proper, thickly wooded, birdsong-filled, creaking bowered, leaf rustling, warm-in-winter-cool-in-summer, ventilating – by which I mean it breathes for the planet – welcoming forest.
I grew up falling out of trees, climbing up for a quiet smoke, retreating for an afternoon’s contemplation or gliding higher for a spot of k.i.s.s.i.n.g. Trees are spLendid, kind, solid statements of the best of earth’s treasures. Yet often something goes awry and they’re chopped down to make way for fast food ingredients as with The Amazon; or mis-named as with the few twigs and matchsticks which appear to constitute The New Forest, [yes, yes; before you hollah. We know the soil’s poor and much was lost in the great storm of 1703].
Back to Epping’s epic envigourment of faith in forests. Have you been there? I feel a nit for only just doing so. Nowadays, the function of a forest is not to supply sport for the blood-thirsty but to offer solace for the psyché. The surge in well-being of wandering amid all that nature is as restorative to mind and body as well-rotted compost is for next season’s marrows. Fragrant: long-lasting: nourishing: a chaos of green: as nature intended.
It’s so simple. Everything we need to live well and be pleasured by life is around us already.