The land sloped generally downward toward the river, though that was almost a mile away so that you could neither see it nor hear its gurgling passage through these densely forested foothills. The terrain was challenging and complicated, a diverse chaos of uncontrolled nature, but it could be understood by organizing it into layers with distinct histories. Oldest were the rocks, massive domed boulders, jagged but smoothed by ages of rain and wind, protruding from the old ground from which they had erupted and the new ground that had settled over them, strewn rough and tumble all about in ancient broken bits that told the tale of tumult after tumult of geological shift and change. Then there were the trees, old in their own right, jutting out among the ancient stone in whose company they were as newcomers. There were the upright giants that rose tall and straight, branching out only far overhead into a sparse canopy that let in plenty of light. And there were the gnarled and warty squat trees, giants too, but spending their growth energy more horizontally, casting about invisibly slowly in every direction with a vitality belied by their apparent stillness. Then, scattering in among the contrast of these, there were saplings, shrubs and young flora of innumerable shapes and types, thriving briefly in the shade of larger cousins as they burned away their brief spans or grew to join their elders above. Last of all was the top layer of covering growth, the vines, mosses and lichens carpeting and draping all these older, larger landmarks with ambitious ubiquity of greens, browns, yellows and reds. Nearby, before the shadows closed in, sunlight filtered down in straight, visible beams through clearings and gaps in the foliage, made semi-opaque by the particulate forest air, afloat with pollen, dust, motes and vapors of various forms. The sky above the treetop horizon was grey and excited with the threat of interesting weather, and this lay heavy over the woods like a muffling silence broken only by the scattered, occasional calls of unseen birds, anxious in the looming tempest. The afternoon and environment were coincidences of time and space, not there for any reason, not engaged any the act of any will, not positing any positions, justifications or explanations. This was pure location, pure afternoon, being what it was in the hour at hand. Even its long, visible history was not its fault or concern, and it denied any entanglement with the past, all obvious evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
Hello, friends. I trust you're well.