The forest is reflected in her eyes as we follow the path deeper and deeper into the dark. I wonder if it is less about the physicality of her hand in mine and more about that mental connection to something of substance. I feel the dark earth beneath my feet, the dampness working its way into my skin, cooling my mind. She has a force surrounding her, pulling me on and on into her wooded world. I wonder where we are going. I don’t dare to ask.
We met in the woods. Not these woods, these trees are too young, those trees stretched almost to the stars, trunks as large as a giant’s thigh. The bark so old it nearly cracked under the weight of generations. The day we met I was walking aimlessly, a sketch pad in my hand, feet moving to the beat of glass animals in my ears. She was sitting on a log, almost hidden by foliage, invisible to the casual passerby. I don’t know why I turned my head, it must have been some instinct that drew me to her, but I walked up to her, almost enthralled.
She had a sort of magic about her. Her smile. Her laugh. As rarely as they appeared, the spread warm light through my body. Lying next to her felt like a warm day of sun was warming to my whole being. She was a good luck charm, when I was with her all my worries seemed to melt away as we got distracted by each others flaws and perfections. I was in love with her that first day I saw her, covered by ferns, that glint of mischief in those blue, blue eyes.
There we were, dancing under branches, weaving in and out of memories. I don’t know where we are going. I don’t know where we have been. I can feel my heart sinking as we trip over tree roots, tumbling to the ground, not hurt physically but my mind is beginning to realize this is it. This is the conclusion of the magic, the finality of the passion, the end of the love. She leaves me, as I always knew she would, cradled under a willow tree, weeping for the possibilities of the universe.
Words and photos by Ilana Newman
Model: Lydia Dennee-Lee