The Brain Forrest by dancinlight
I am from the bayou country. Swamps, alligators, brown/black water – the beautiful mucky mire. Every so often I like to get out and roam a bit. In 2000 I visited a friend I grew up with here in New Orleans that moved to Seattle several years ago. After exploring Seattle for a week or so he gathered some of his friends from the area and we headed to the “Brain Forrest”. We drove up the Olympic Peninsula to the Hoh rain forrest and perspective opened up for me. The floor was carpeted with this amazing lush flora. The paths were so soft shoes were optional. The trees were amazing to me due to the kind and size. I had not seen trees of this type and size in Louisiana. The only ones that came close in awe are the Live Oaks and some of the old Cypress. These trees in the rain forrest were immensely large. Huge! Some of the trees that had fallen that were still alive had branches that grew up like the large trees that I’m used to seeing in the South. Everything in this forrest was big. I felt alien to this land. Everything was so big I felt like a little person in a giant’s yard.
We spent time setting up camp and exploring our surroundings before dinner. Among some of the interesting people we met were the camp host. He was a retired forestry agent who was a semi-professional photographer that was published with National Geographic. He told us stories of some of the things we might wander across including “Black Panther Kitties”.
Another guy we met was a student of biology and forestry that was creating his own curriculum at some school in the NW. He was out there cataloging all the flora he found – drawing pictures and jotting notes on his findings. He was especially interested in noting which species were native and which were not. Within the first day we had received an education to rival the discovery channel and national geographic put together.
This was the setting and mind set with which we entered the evening. Having pre-explored our surroundings we were ready to sit down to a heavenly dinner my friend cooked up that fed not only our body but even more our minds…
Night time brought about the full moon and the “Brain Forrest” adventures including close encounters of many Kind! The Brain Forrest awoke in our minds eye. The beauty that unfolds when you let go of the city and your normal everyday thoughts slip away. Before long we were melting into the scenery until we were not just visitors marveling at our surroundings like in Disney World. We became a part of the forrest and witnessed our participation with an ancient being that was this forrest. Seeing the stars as neurons firing off messages to each other and facilitating stories of that which is yet to come.
I don’t know if it was the dinner or the magnificence of our environment or maybe I just really needed to get out of the South but I know we all took with us an experience we won’t ever forget. That trip will forever be alive with me in my Brain Forrest.