As we wound our way up the Todtnauer Waterfall path in Germany’s Black Forest, The Grimm’s Book of Fairy Tales opened page by page before my eyes.
Trails of soft, inviting moss that certainly lured Hansel and Gretel, were plentiful. A darkness descended that the Big Bad Wolf could certainly lurk behind, before revealing himself to Little Red Riding Hood. Around every corner there was a Rapunzel like castle spiking out of the conifer-rich canopy called the Black Forest.
As we rode chairlifts up various peaks, the shadows danced in the valley, carpeting the light in every nook and cranny. There was a chill and dampness that I have rarely felt in August, and yet I was allured by the beauty of these forests.
These are the woods of my childhood, deep and dark and magnificent. I realized as I was teaching the kids about different berries and nettle remedies, that this leg or our journey was a coming home of sorts.
It dawned on me as we were putting scarves and hats on for an alpine hike in August, that sometimes you have to venture through the darkness to appreciate the light.