A couple of weeks ago, Anne went cycling on her own. Twenty-five years old,
she was just a young woman, right at the start of her life, going on an ordinary, little adventure at the end of the day. A young woman, much like myself, much like many of us. A young woman, who never returned home that night & whose body was found dead and discarded in the forest 2 weeks later.
Anne has been on my mind a lot lately. Not just because the news has been dominated by her disappearance, but mainly because her story and all the details of her passing have found a way to my heart and won’t let themselves be shaken off. The cycling trip, the numbered tracks, the day drawing to an end, the world around her dripping with her imminent ending.
In this past week, I have found my thoughts drifting to dark places as I thought of her discarded, lonely self left in that, once so innocent ,forest; so far from those she loved & those who loved her. To me, nature has always been a place to feel fully at ease, a place to recharge & come to terms with the bustle of life. The forest in fall has always been my go-to-place, my unquestioned favourite season.
Yet, suddenly, this same place & this same season were dragged into the harsh light of reality & were made to be stained by the vicious act of Anne’s killer. It’s like I just cannot not comprehend how so much natural beauty & so much sickening violence can co-exist in one place at the same time.
Anne, just another story on the news. Anne, the girl that went cycling & never come round again. Anne, who I never met & was never likely to meet. Anne, whose senseless death has settled within me for reasons I might never fully understand.
This is for Anne. This is for me. This is for the forest in fall. This is for the restoring of innocence & beauty in places where it is lost. This is for all of us who might need this right now….
The forest and the girl
The moss and the fungus
the evaporating dew
the endless singing overhead
the smelling and the creaking
the frail, motionless canopy
the breaking and the falling
the inevitable ending;
The forest and the girl.