The forest invites, sun dappling leaves and winds softly blowing, heat driving you deeper and deeper into shade.
The brook gurgles now on your right, it will follow you throughout, or you will follow it, bending back on your tracks, crossing and recrossing it and snaking alongside it through the trees.
Then the ruins come, singly, in brick
then stone and iron
Then enshrined mystery without a visible guardian god.
Gaping mouth that cannot speak.
Cannot warn of incipient destruction.
Hollow but for stone.
The same stone shaped into bridge form in the medieval age.
The same stone built to mark a holy well, once venerated, cared for by St Anne who welcomed pilgrims and believers. These stones now fill it, there is no room for wishes or prayers now. Something still crowds the gaps and crevices, ignoring the iron bars that attempt to hold the ethereal prisoner.
Goats most domestic are followed by Victorian devil-may-care power imposing straight lines and railways and bridges in the air.
You stumble across rusting memories of a more modest aspect of some decade of our modern age, flaking paint of white.
The woods end, spitting you out into sunlight and fumes and paved roads once again. Unsure of where or when you are.
Until you suddenly remember. Time resumes its flow towards our ending.