If you wish to enter the forest of Nought, be kind to the fog that creeps along the edges of your path. It waits for nightfall so it can spread without fear of beams of sunlight piercing through and evaporating its mist. It does no harm and only curls against your ankles as a way of saying hello.
Do not fear the trees that bend downwards, their branches heavy with their purple blossoms; they do not reach out to you unless it is to guide you to safety. Inhale the air around you, it is fresh and sweet and gentle.
Be sure to stop when you see two trees bent away then back towards each other, forming a teardrop doorway. Do not be afraid to enter, the vicious fairies do not dwell in the forest any longer. By now, I’m not even sure if the good ones are still around. Fairies do not stay in one forest for many centuries before moving on.
Through the teardrop doorway, there sits a glistening pool of deep blue water. Tiny streams trickle down to it from every direction, causing the only disturbance to its surface. Cast your gaze upon it, for if you are to enter the forest of Nought, you should know the things this pool can show you.
I have looked many times. It does not show any reflection of you. It does not show your desires or your future or any such thing that could drive you mad. The pool is a storyteller, and the stories are of the forest in a different time.
It shows a girl with bare feet and freckles on her nose, planting saplings with tight purple buds. Around her, the tallest tree is maybe as high as her shoulders. There is so much blue sky above her.
It shows an old couple standing close together with smiles on their faces, holding hands as they watch children play with chipmunks and rabbits. If you gaze hard enough, you might hear a faint echo of their laughter. The trees are tall but slender, a grown man could warp his hands around their trunks.
The pool shows an acorn with the prettiest yellow ribbon tied around it, laid carefully on a moss-covered tree stump.
It shows little creatures with wings that look like leaves and eyes that look like mischief peeking out from behind mushrooms.
It shows a young man with wire-framed glasses and a leather-bound notebook, telling the trees their names in a language far older than he had a right to know.
It shows a ring of mushrooms, still and silent in a carpet of petals.
It shows a man with thinning gray hair and a cane of twisted wood saying goodbye to an ivory-colored unicorn.
It shows a sapling poking through a loop in a faded old ribbon.
The forest of Nought is old, and you are not the first to walk through it, though it may feel that way now. I have heard some say it feels so full of life, more than what they can see, and I know they did not stop to gaze upon the pool.
Yes, I tell them, it is full of life. It has collected life for as long as it has grown. It has changed; but if you look hard enough, and if you know its past, you will see the echoes of what used to be still lingering. Making it what it has become.
If you wish to enter the forest of Nought, please enter. It welcomes the new. It cherishes the old. It loves to see more life.
Do not be afraid.
If you take the time to look, the forest is not difficult to understand.