The ice storm that arrived … turned the forest into a frozen palace of dangerous rainbowed and tinkling beauty when the sun came out. I wrote: ‘Trees bowed down with ice and tears brittle as spun glass. My heart cracked. My foot falls echo in a bright dream of fear and awe. In among the trees, every wind speaks. Like a ship at sea in this windy forest, I heave my life up to the top branches, and roll and soar with change so vast it shakes the shadows, leaving only shot light. At night, I leave my bedside window open in order to breathe cold, clear air and listen to deluges of soaking rain, or wind playing through chimes, or whipoorwills [sic] and owls calling into the darkness. In summer, it’s the sound of cicadas that hisses hotly outside my window. The forest is not silent, nor always peaceful.’

© Sara Firman, ‘Of Rocks and Roots, Life in an Ozark Forest’ originally published in Earthlines Magazine (Issue 2, Aug 2012)