Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

Today’s prompt was a difficult one because I know very little about forest spirits, but here’s something anyways!

I don’t know a lot about forest spirits. They weren’t the type of magic I was interested in as a kid, am interested in now. The only forest spirits I was aware of were the dryads and nymphs in Greek mythology, whose stories were still interesting but nothing compared to the gods, goddesses, and demi-gods whose stories I devoured. Still, it was a nice thought though and I understand why people like the idea of forest spirits. To sit in a tree with flowers and leaves in your hair, to make the flowers bloom, to give things life.

When I searched “forest spirit” on Google for some idea of what I would write about today it gave me a link to a character from the Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke. I haven’t seen the movie (though I plan to one day) but Google described the forest spirit as a character who is known as a god of life and death in the movie, which I think is a pretty unique and different look at the forest spirits I’ve grown up with. Similarly in Princess Mononoke, there are small spirits known as Kodama who reside and inhabit trees very much like dryads from Greek mythology.

I really like the contrast of a forest spirit having power over both life and death. When we think of forests and nature we often just focus on the life aspect of it, of the green and sprouts and blooms. Even when we admire the changing of the leaves in autumn we ignore the fact that they’re dying, that everything dies. But they come back again, every spring with the buds and the bloom.

They come back, and maybe we will too.

(Inktober Prompt List found here. Image found here.)

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