I’ve been to places that felt more real than my own skin. Where the colors are so vivid—bright and full—it’s as if they have their own wants and desires. I’ve seen the fiber of trees dance to the music of wind. I’ve watched a flower pedal and drop of dew go on a blind date. I’ve heard a shrub leaf long for the touch of a bird. I’ve seen the sound a snake makes slithering through tall grass. I’ve heard the colors of the rainbow. I’ve felt fear, smelled pain, and tasted love.
Where was this place? It’s here, right now, all around us. We’re in the deep woods every moment. Some say that our minds are like radio tuners, defined more by what they block out than what they let in. Most of the time, they say, we’re tuned to ‘channel normal’, but now and then the channel gets changed. Certain meditation practices can ‘change the channel’, certain substances can do it, sometimes an intense experience will trigger the change.
The first time I saw the deep woods was when I was a young boy. Funny thing is, I didn’t realize that was the case until many years later. I was standing on a wood bridge watching trees move with the beat of the earth’s heart. I saw falling leaves draw tracers in air. My hearing was—there’s no other way to say it—wider, more open. Like swapping dollar-store headphones for a thousand-dollar pair. I thought, ‘I remember this. Experiencing the world this way. This is how life used to be all the time when I was little.’
What happens to us as we grow? Or am I alone in this? If so, what happened to me? No, it’s alright, I don’t expect you to have an answer for me. I don’t even have one for myself. I’m still looking for it. I’ll let you know if I ever find out.