Wild areas teem with life and death. The urgency and decay are deeply beautiful to me and source of much of my writing.
In the wet areas, life bursts forth throughout the year. Mosquitos emerge from the water desperate for a blood meal and mating. New shoots grow from the ground at alarming speeds. And all this life pushes up through the plant corpses and rotting muck left from the season before. The sour swamp smells and sweet tang of green growth hang in the air. The fug is nearly tangible. You can see it rise and spread above the water at night, and sometimes you’d swear it glows.
These areas are the setting for Gothic tales with women in nightgowns fleeing barefoot across the moors. They are where the killer lurks to watch camp counselors, before emerging to slash them one by one. The cabin in the woods was built to lure the unsuspecting into a trap. Why?
In wild areas, a person can’t fully know all the moves around them or hides in the undergrowth. Life and death surround them, out of their control.
The cooler air and shorter days of Autumn are settling things down. The wet areas can rest and simmer, slowly breaking down the bodies of this year’s dead. When you go out to those remote areas, remember that you are walking amongst them. They’ll cling to you when you leave.