Every single person's home, every building and structure that are a part of this village is either entirely or partially made from the wood of these sacred-to-you trees. Fields and meadows and yards and other spaces have been cut and cleared, stumps blown out of the ground with only the cratered earth remaining, and it has been happening ever since humans moved into the area. When they first started clearing the trees and stripping them you were hurt and even a bit afraid to what extent it might go, but over time you watched them use the trees to build their homes and other things of impressive design and skill and art, and with it all you became fascinated and impressed and began to respect them more, and they never took more than they needed, and in fact seemed to improve the land and all around them with their presence over time.
You've always known humans build things from wood and you've seen them do it at various stages at different times since they've been alive. Over time here now you've been able to see the detail and skill involved in everything they do, and it is impressive. So much of what they use in life comes from wood, and there is a huge capacity for what they can do with it. Buildings and structures, furniture and tools, instruments and accessories, and it all can have elaborate details and variances that make each thing unique even if they are similar. Trees in all their forms truly are the essence of life.
It was after quite a time of having observed them from afar without letting your presence known that one night you finally decided to approach them and see how it went. You were nervous, but they seemed in good spirits and like a warm and loving group, so you gave it a try. They had built a large fire and were dancing around it, singing to it, to each other, to the sky, and to the woods around them. They seemed to be having some sort of ceremony or celebration of some sort. You later found it was a ten-year anniversary of them having established the community. You ended up being a part of that celebration, and it was very special for all of you, and you are happy to have been a part of it, and to be, even if you are a bit distant from the rest because of hiding your true self, a part of the community.
At first they figured you must have either been from Nashua or a traveler from a group of travelers and gotten lost or left behind in the woods some time ago, how long they couldn't tell, and you couldn't tell them. They figured that you eventually made your way over to this area having happened to see their fire and hear them in the night. When they asked who you were you gave no answer, and played dumb until you felt things out better. At first you didn't have a name, and they figured you'd bumped your head and not remembered much and had been living in the woods for quite some time. They celebrated your life and luck of finding them and you joined them in their celebrations.
The next day they sent word to Nashua to check if someone like you was missing or if anyone knew you or could find out anything about you. Regardless of where you came, it was apparent to them that you had lived in the woods for some time and new not much of the ways of people and their things, and so they took you under their care. You have reinforced the idea that you'd been living in the woods for some time and that you never have quite gotten accustomed to people and social and village life. It serves you well to have them believe this is the truth in many ways. It is what makes the most sense to them all and you're glad to have them believe it.
It was almost winter when you came to the village, and it was too late to start construction on a home for you so you stayed in The Community Home (even though you hate staying inside buildings, you needed to pretend to let them "watch and care" for you for a little because you seemed so helpless to them.) When they did build your home the next spring you asked them to make it very small, a portion of the size of any of the other homes in the village, and they obliged you.
You reluctantly stay in it once in a great while just to have it appear to them that you're trying to change, but after 10 years they have accepted that you prefer the outdoors to the indoors, even when it comes to cooking and sleeping. It is barely lived in, but it is there for you to receive guests if you ever need, or to show the pretense of taking shelter. It was also a way for them to show you how welcome you were to be a part of the village and their desire to have you stay with them.
Your appreciation and enthrallment for their capabilities has grown over the years the more you've been exposed to it and seen more of it. You have watched them build more and more homes and barns and fences and gardens and tools and instruments and everything else that they've needed to do to carve out a life here in the wilderness, just like all animals, but in such great depth and detail, it at times breath-taking.
You love seeing how they have transformed the area. You see it as a refining and enhancing of an small section of the world where they've learned to use what they need in a way that suits them for their survival and enjoyment of the lives they have while they survive and live in harmony with the life around them. It is a beautiful thing.
You have come to learn that humans can, if they choose to make the effort, live respectfully and symbiotically with the earth in ways and purposes that are in line with those of the other life-forms of the world and that you can accept and support some of them. Most of these villagers have proven themselves to not warrant your initial fear of them, and you've learned to live with them and appreciate them, and you do care for their well-being, just like you do any creature of the earth.
You have learned that they can even be enjoyable to be around at times. You've learned they can be lovable and offer great company, too. You've come to learn of and love their humor and laughter and their ability to have fun to their songs and stories of wisdom and heart and of triumph and loss that express so well their good and bad parts of being a living being. You admire the depth of their ability to feel and think, and then learn and grow from it all. Humans are fascinating creatures indeed.
There are some you like more than others and even a couple that you've barely spoken to and intentionally stay away from because you are uncertain of, and when new people move in you keep your distance from them and observe them with caution and depending on how you feel about them and how the rest of the villagers treat them you eventually reveal yourself to them to one degree or another. Almost always people turn out to be just as good of people as the rest here, with the same friendly and loveable qualities that made you feel welcome enough to meet them all in the first place.
You will do your best to help maintain a healthy balanced existence for these woods on a whole. However, you aren't sure what you think is the best way to go about doing that at this point. You don't know whether you want to help the true humans or the werewolves, or to help them both, or neither and just observe. And you don't even know that even if you do decide to do something if you will ultimately be able to have any influence anyway. At a certain point it will probably cross your mind to turn them both against each other and try to eliminate them all, and you could try to do that if you wanted. It is all up to you.
For now you think it will be best to simply go to The Community Home with everyone else and watch everyone closely and make your choices carefully and with full thought and intention going into each you make to try and figure out and do the best things for these woods that you can.
Of course, no matter the decisions you make, you never know what consequences may unfold from them anyway, so you must just do your best and trust that you are making the right choices if and when you do finally make them.
You've sensed a werewolf's presence for some time in these woods, but you never bothered to try and discover who it is and never have felt their presence here to be a problem or anything that worked against nature, as far as you can tell. You have also felt that he's grown in power and at some point he started a pack and has grown that by at least a couple followers over the years.
As much as you've seen in nature and as long as you've existed, the existence of Werewolves and their interactions with humans is a rare thing. The nature and dynamics of it all interests you greatly, and, again, you really aren't sure if the werewolves or humans are a greater threat to you and the balance of nature overall, or to what level, if any, you might want to get involved in what goes on here between them.
Humans can be invasive and do seem to populate quickly. The existence of werewolves in the area might be a good counterbalance to their abundance and continued increased presence in the region, but also, you know these humans of Oakwood Village are mostly good people and you aren't sure you want to see them gone either. Regardless, your path is your own. Make it as you will.
You figure if it comes to it you will tell other villagers that you didn't go to Nashua with most of the rest of everyone because you are uncomfortable anywhere else, and that you almost fear leaving because you know nowhere else. Oakwood Village is your home and you can't imagine leaving. You figure you might tell them you aren't sure what good you'll be or if you'll just get in the way/be a sacrificial lamb, but regardless, you couldn't even consider leaving.
--- end Sarah Matthews ---
Post edited October 31, 2016 by drealmer7