"Hello, I thought you were just about to go."
"I was, but I was enjoying sketching here and wanted to stay for a few moments longer."
"I haven't seen you for a long time. When were you last up here?"
"I can't remember, it must have been back in the spring when I walked up here with my family."
"What has kept you away?"
"Oh, you know, the busyness of life. Lots of things to do and I know that isn't really a very good excuse. Also, to be honest, I have been struggling to be inspired by things. It is hard when you feel you are a lonely walker and it isn't easy to find others who can share similar interests. I was out walking the other day with some friends and the most memorable thing I experienced was walking past a isolated tree and just stopping for a moment to listen to the sound of the wind in its branches. It was awesome, and yet in that moment of deep awe I was quite alone."
"Do you feel alone now?"
"I never feel alone outside in places like this. How can you feel alone when surrounded by trees, all the plants on the woodland floor, a wren, a chiffchaff, and so many other natural things around me. Yes, I am alone in a human sense and no-one has walked past me on this path for the past hour or so. I am a brief visitor to this place today."
"Why did you stop here?"
"It is just an interesting group of trees up on the hilltop here. It is a long time since I have been to this wood when the trees are in leaf and I had forgotten how enclosed it feels when compared to being here in the winter. It is very windy today and here there is shelter for me because I wanted to do some drawing and I am not keen on sitting in the wind. When I got here the sunshine was pouring down through the leaves and, due to the wind, the sunlight was dancing about all over the place. It looked wonderful."
"What are you thinking of?"
"Stillness, even in the wind. Here I can sit and just enjoy this place. The sun keeps going behind the clouds but when it is out the place is transformed into a place of light, shadow, colour, movement and wonder. Nature does many things so well. What often intrigues me is that I hardly ever meet anyone on my walks or when I am sitting drawing who I instantly feel has a deep interest in their surroundings like I do. I very rarely meet anyone who is an artist, a creative or anyone who looks vaguely like I could have an interesting conversation with them."
"I know what you are feeling. I think it is a gift, and a path that is hard to walk. Perhaps it is a yoke you are carrying. Keep walking. These trees have stood for many years. They take time to grow, adapt and evolve in their landscape. I know you stuggle, but just look at the beauty you find all around you. This is the wonder of creativity. Take hold of your creative spirit again. Do not be afraid. Dance like the sunlight dances in this wood today."
"Thank you. I think I needed some encouragement."
"That's fine. It has been good to see you again. Come and talk anytime, anywhere."
"Can I share this?"
"Thank you for this place. I think I will go now and continue on my bike ride."
"My pleasure. Bye bye."