Once there was a man who found a forest in his pocket. When he came home after a day’s work he would take it out. His house would fill up with deer and bears, soft spongy moss, amber grass. He would stroll through the green valleys and stands of old oak which poked out through his roof into the sky. He would cool his feet in the flowing stream then rest in the clean air as he ate his dinner. His neighbors would come out of their houses to listen to the sounds of birdsong and rushing rivers. On occasion people would gather on his lawn drawn by the call of the forest.
Even those who knocked on his door to complain, once inside wanted to stay. He would make a fire and share a meal with them on a river bank where they would talk far into the night. There they could breathe in the scents of the earth all around them, look up at the constellations in the sky and remember their true names. I know this sounds strange, but that’s the way it was.
Ray Cicetti is a psychotherapist and poet born in Newark and now living in Mountain Lakes New Jersey. He loves hiking out in the quiet of the woods and is a long time practitioner and teacher of Zen Buddhism.