Walk the pathways of this Dream. Narrow winding passageways barely make an impression on the lush green tangle of this sylvan wilderness. It is dark – a soft, green darkness of layers upon layers of foliage. Lances of pure white light shoot their way through endless leaves of black green, but they are not enough to turn the forest’s endless night into day. These lances are more akin to stars than the sun. Your eyes will be drawn to them, visible through gaps in the foliage which allow tiny sunbursts of white light to break through. It dazzles you but it is never enough. The light is beautiful, intense and unearthly, but it is not enough to break through the resilient barriers of the shadowy trees and their flighty children, the green leaves.
It is a forest through which the scream of lemurs can be heard and high above, brightly arrayed birds of paradise shriek as they flit through the foliage searching for flame-red berries of the tallest trees. Wild orchids of white and violet grow on moss-encrusted trees with abundance, their roots trailing down. Thick coils of lianas loop around heavy branches to descend to the ground, which is covered with rich green ferns and other unnamed herbs. And amidst this lush tableau you may even glimpse the elusive mouse-deer, moving momentarily into the dappled light before it disappears, once more.
Deep within the woods there waits an ancient raintree, the oldest and the largest of them all. It is host to millions of seen and unseen inhabitants congregating on each level. There are the dryads,the spirits of the air, the elves and also many butterflies and tree-frogs. Here, birds of paradise with their rainbow plumage roost, together with merry pixies. These irrepressible creatures live in clusters on branches that they have decorated with tiny translucent lanterns made of discarded wings – for they take on new wings at every crescent moon. Will you tarry? For this is where you may meet a wild soul who has strayed into the forest.
(c) Anita Harris Satkunananthan.
Penned in 1994.