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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Enchanted Forest

Recently I had the most vivid sense memory. Do you ever have those? To get to Isabella's school each day we walk across a park. It is your typical Australian public park with a barbeque and tables and chairs, play equipment and lots of gum trees just like those in the nature reserve behind the school. In one corner of the park, however, there is a very different atmosphere and when we walk that way we say we are going through the enchanted forest. The enchanted forest is a stand of very old pine trees with massive trunks and ropey roots.

On the day in question, we were walking through the 'forest' when something about the quality of the light and the smell of dried pine needles crushed underfoot took me straight back to primary school. I remembered all those recesses spent building little cubbie houses with fallen branches thatched with pine needles. I remembered how proud I was of some of those cubbies and how we used to go around admiring each others before returning to our own convinced that ours was the best of all. I'm glad kids still build cubbie houses like we did.


  1. zomg. *We* had a pine forest out the back at my primary school, which backed onto the local nature reserve. Every before-school, Recess, and Lunch was spent building cubbyhouses too!
    Such fun. We actually got them quite weatherproof, so could sit out in them in the rain. :-)
    Ah, good memories. The smell of the needles, the dirt, the collecting of needles in wheatbags I brought from home, the whose-is-the-biggest-and-best competitions, the make-believe adventures involving us being in Other Lands and being other people... :-)
    Then they made it off-limits, only allowed to go to the first row of trees in. Now, I hear it's since been cut down, which is a great shame. :-(

  2. Snap Manu! Our school had a pine plantation behind it too but we also had a lot of pine trees in the actual playground which is where the cubby building went on. The plantation out the back was absolutely off-limits but we lived quite close to the school and used to go in there on weekends. I had a bit of a thing about wanting to be a witch (a good medicinal/herbal type one) for a while and thought that it was a good place for a witch to hang out. Later on we also used to go in there to smoke - so wrong on soooo many levels!