I'd forgotten how restoring to the soul the woods can be. Only once I was hearing the soft crunch of leaf litter beneath my shoes and breathing in the green-scented breeze did my mind say, "Ah yes, I remember this!"
When I was a child, I spent many hours alone in the woods. There was a tiny creek I used to dutifully clear its little waterfalls of leaves, convinced I was helping it in some way.
One of my favorite places to go was deep in the woods where a massive oak tree stood. I've seen far bigger trees now as an adult, including California's famous redwoods, but as a kid, it was the most massive tree I'd ever seen, and every time I see a Tree of Life emblem, I think of it, and wonder if it's still there.
I found the woods a comforting place, as I do now.
It's funny. My main character in the next books spends the majority of her time in the woods, but I hadn't really gone back there myself in years. My life is in more urban environs now, and my increasingly reclusive nature keeps me in my "writer cave" more and more. I wrote it all from memory, what the woods of Appalachia are like.
I wish I'd gone back sooner. I needed this, and I didn't even know it.