My irrational fear of the woods
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I sometimes post pictures of fields and woods and you might think: "WTF? Don't you live in Palma de Mallorca aka. the city with most cars per capita aka. the city with the ugliest slab buildings?" Yes, I do. However, my mom is kind enough send me over some pictures from "home" (whatever that means).
So, I'm from Stuttgart, Germany. When I moved out of my parent's place to go conquer the world and stuff, my parents moved too: to a small house just outside the city, next to the woods. Until then, we lived in the very city center - which I loved. And I hated the fact that every time I went to visit, I had to undergo this outrageous 20-minute subway ride from the city center to the outskirts and then walk 15 minutes from the subway stop to my parents' house. We're talking here about a very lonely road next to a forest. Especially when I came home after dark, I was MORTIFIED. (I still am!) This lonely street, the dark woods right next me. (Kidnappers, rapists, ghosts, hello?!??) Like, that's horror movie material right here.
However, today I was thinking: why do I feel safe walking next to cars, traffic lights and shops and so unsafe walking next to a forest? I mean, yeah, ancestral fear of the darkness, the unknown, wild animals or whatever. (And definitely too many horror movies.)
But I also think there is a civilisatory component to it. We are trained to feel safe in shopping malls and noisy streets. Silence makes un uneasy. The lack of cars, shops, lights - all the great civilisatory achievement - makes us anxious.
Let's be realistic here: that 15-minute walk next to the woods is statically a lot safer than any city stroll. And I hate myself a little for being so irrational and for being such a city brat. I don't know how to put this in a non-hippie way, but I really want to get back in touch with nature. And to lose my fear of walking next to a forest.
I've honestly seen so many foxes, deers and rabbits during my after-dark walks. How beautiful is this? That forest is full of life. It won't do me any harm. And I'm pretty sure there are no mass murderers hidden behind trees (true fear of mine!).
I will be visiting again next month and I know that walk next to the forest will still freak me out, especially after dark. But I will try to see the beauty in it - I guess. The silence, the peace... maybe a cute little deer? I'm also really looking forward to many strolls in the woods. Daytime strolls. I want to make friends with the woods. (That sounded very tree-huggery haha, sorry.)
I want to be this person whose happy place is in nature not in a shopping mall.