I bought the two fields I used to go walking in. I haven't gone out into the woods lately to see if they've been touched; I'm afraid to find out if it's all still there as I remember it. But I grew up with these creatures. I was alone in the forest, but I was never lonely. That's where my first experiences of otherness came from, of the other world. My spiritual ideas didn't come from the Lord's Prayer or church or pictures in the Bible, they came from the stillness. The silence was so different from anything I had ever experienced. The only noise that you heard in a pine tree forest was the gentle whistling sound of the wind blowing through pine needles. Other than that, it's just quiet...like after a fresh snow...it really quiets down in the woods...cracking branches...nothing. It's like when I took acid—I felt the wind brushing against my face although I knew I was in the bathroom and the door was closed. This was Mother Nature talking to me.
I would walk through the woods and walk and walk. I would find chestnut trees, fairy rings of mushrooms, bird's nests made with human hair and fishing line. I would imagine I was in the jungle in Africa and climb up on the gates at the entrances to the big estates and sit on the stone lions (until someone shouted, "Get down from there, kid!").