You open your eyes, waking up to the sound of stillness. It takes a moment for your vision to focus but when it does, you’re looking up at the ceiling of your humble abode. You blink once, twice, and slowly sit up. You gaze around your room where the dim sunlight filters through the crack between the almost closed curtains. You hear the chirping of birds; the singing of a lark as you push your covers off you to glide out of bed. You’re about to move away from it before you noticed that your bedsheets were slipping off the bed. With slow, calculated movements, you pull them up back into place before adjusting your throw over them. It’s a patchwork throw, composed of old pieces of clothing that you had when you still lived in the city along with intricately patterned fabrics that you thrifted from a small shop run by a little old lady. When she was ringing your total up, she had talked to you about the woods. You had told her that you were moving there and before you left her shop, she grabbed your wrist with her bony fingers and with her other hand, held out a necklace with a chunk of black tourmaline hanging from it. She had told you to keep the pendant around your neck at all times and for some reason you did. It’s hanging around your neck right now. There was something about the woman that made you trust her even though she gave no explanation as to why you needed it.
After fluffing up your pillows, you make your way to the window sill. You run your hands over the embroidered fabric of the curtains, soft and raised beneath your fingertips before tugging at them to draw them apart. You lean forward and undo the window latch to heave the glass panels open. The morning breeze caresses your face like a gentle lover who had been awaiting your return. The air hits the windchimes above you and as they knock against one another, they let out soft sounds as they chime you a good morning as sunlight fills the room, embracing you. You let your eyes close as the smell of the grass and peonies outside surround you before you quickly, yet reluctantly, step away from the window to move over to your kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea. You feel something furry brush against your leg and you look down, smiling warmly at your cat, Nettle. You call the calico Netty for short. Crouching down, you pick the animal up and it purrs in your arms as you scratch behind its ear. You then notice the oddly shaped twig in its mouth. It almost seemed curled. With a small murmur of thanks, you take it from Nettle’s mouth to place it on the little shelf fully of knick-knacks that your cat has gotten you which included amongst other things, more twigs, rocks, flowers that you dried to preserve them better, and the occasional bone or skull from a smaller animal such as a bird or baby rabbit.
As you place Nettle down on the countertop to observe you while you make your tea, you look out of the small window above it at the bog across your little cottage. Nothing stirred amidst the fallen, half-submerged trees and moss but you let out a small wave anyway, just in case something or someone was, in fact, gazing back at you amidst the shade.