is to go further up into the mountains.
Caught up in the bustle of a city and the closeness of apartment dwelling, it's hard to imagine that there are still places in the world where you won't see another person for miles.
Where the night sky is clustered with stars you've never seen before. Where the sound you hear when you stop talking, turn off the music, switch off the TV, is utter silence. Not silence punctuated with shouts and muffled conversation or offset by the hum of streetlights and faraway traffic. But complete and total silence.
Everywhere you turn there are hints of old, old magic regarding wildflowers, sunlight filtering through leaves, and the moist, dark underbelly of tree roots. You could find your hidden kingdom here; the one from fantasy stories and fairy tales that you always knew existed just beyond the rational, civilized world.
Hidden glades where a wounded white stag might lie, waiting to bestow gifts on a compassionate travelers. Trees that live, and grow, and think, and watch over the fields and forests around them. Craggy, regal mountains that, if you squint, almost looked carved: towers and gates and fortresses in the rocks.
You're never to old to believe in those things.
But even if you never catch a glimpse of a woodland sprite, even if the white stag eludes you – always one sun-drenched clearing away, even if the trees stay silent when you pass by, even if the stars are simply stars and not omens or signs –
Even so, the magic, the everyday kind, is still there.
With this in mind, take to the woods, the fields, the trails. Close your eyes. Listen to the silence and what it might tell you. Breathe in the mountain air. Feel the soft, seductive breeze. Sense the sunlight on the other side of your closed eyelids. Remember that this is what's real. This is where it all began.
Take a deep breath. Open your eyes.
There's no telling what you might see.