Once upon a time, most of the land on earth was covered by forest.

Then, humans moved away to live in communities in small hamlets, later villages, eventually towns and cities.

It was necesary to log and cut down trees to make clearings for these communities.

Early humans were uneducated to the fact that forests are essential for life on earth and help to reduce climate change by soaking up carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.

Great tragedies beset the human population on earth as a direct result of deforestation caused by forest fires and excessive logging.

The great famine and drought which beset the Mayan people in the eighth century is one graphic example.

Humans have always believed that wrongdoing on earth led to the wrath of the Gods and the floods, famine, earthquakes, thunderstorms were  punishments.

Still to this day, three hundred million people live in a forest somewhere around the world and as many as 1.6 billion people, a quarter of all humans living on earth, depend on the forest for a living.

There are many different kinds of forest such as the Amazonian Rain Forest, Plantation Farms and Woodland but the common denominator for them all is a botanical treasure trove of plants and wildlife.

The forest provides, water, medicine, air and water and is the natural habitat for the squirrel, owl, rabbit, wolf, fox and jaguar.

It is the place to find pretty wild flowers like the primrose, bluebell, foxglove and the daffodil as well edibles like the mushroom, berry, nut and other fruits..

As a child,  fables, folklore and fairy tales stimulate the imagination about the forest which suggests it is a dangerous place to go.

The unreal world of Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Mowgli has aroused curiosity and interest in us all at some point.

The forest can be many things to many people.

William Shakespeare drew from his childhood experiences in the Arden Forest to bring us ‘A Midsummers Nights Dream’ while J.K. Rowling focused on an adolescent quest for truth in the ‘Forbidden Forest’ in the Harry Potter chronicles.

There is a lot of mystery and intrigue about a forest which gives foundation to belief about unnatural phenomena which cannot be explained.

A forest is often thought to be haunted or known as a place of ritual and sacrifice.  It is understood to be the eternal home of lost souls who have wandered  there in expectation of passing through a gateway to another dimension.

In a past bygone nomadic culture, such a belief fuelled a tradition for abandonment of a loved one to die by dehydration, starvation or exposure out of social necessity because they lacked the hospitable means to be kept alive.

A forest can be as breathtakingly beautiful and spectacularly scenic as it is truly enchanting and magical, richly recreational on nature trails to the modern day visitor.

Yet nature will surely take care of its own and dependency to survive on earth does not necessarily justify destruction of the very infrastructure which protects life on earth.

People always fear what they do not understand.  For sure, they do not understand the forest as well as they could or should.



8 thoughts on “THE FOREST

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