Illustration by Guinevere von Sneeden

If you go longer than a week without visiting the woods, you start to fade and pine, whether it’s the hottest day of summer or icicles are dripping from the trees.

When you spy a mushroom, you know fairies are nearby. When you see a fern, you imagine how beautiful the fronds would be woven into your hair.

You wonder why everyone hikes in the woods as if they had some other place they had to be. Wander. Sit. Observe. Be.

If someone asked you to list some of your tree friends, you could answer in an instant with specific names and descriptions.

You would never dare travel in the forest without gifts in your pockets for the fairies, for the trees, for the wildflowers and squirrels.

You wear practical shoes and flowing dresses in the forest. Yes, the skirts get tangled and torn, but don’t they look even more beautiful laced with thorns and leaves?

Seeing an animal in the woods, whether it be a bird or squirrel, deer or fox, leaves you with a sense of wonder and beautythat lasts for days or longer.

Your favorite word is Waldeinsamkeit, German for “a feeling of being alone in the woods, completely surrounded by nature.”

You can’t pass a patch of moss without touching it or considering a nap.

You enter the forest bareheaded and leave with a crown of flowers and fallen leaves.

You have a story for every dried flower, pressed leaf, and pebble you display in your cabinets at home.

…But is it really your home?

The forest beckons you.

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Grace Nuth is a writer, artist, and model living in central Ohio with her husband, black cat, and a garden full of fairies. She also co-wrote The Faerie Handbook, out in November 2017 from Harper Design. To follow her projects, please visit