Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…

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A Door in the Forest

Help can come in all shapes and sizes…in the most unexpected places. I’ve asked for that help at times. I have received it. It takes courage to ask for assistance. It takes courage to give it. I want to be brave on both sides. Let’s all be brave. We can change so much, just by believing we can. No one left alone. No one left behind. We are all in this together.


I saw a door in the forest…a forest I had passed through so many times before. Looking only with my eyes, it had always seemed so typical – whatever that means. Maybe typical is what everyone tells you is supposed to be there. Well, my everyone had never mentioned a door before, so I looked around, as if not to mention it myself.

Left, no one.
Right, no one.
Behind, nope.

It’s like you think you’re safe or something, if you can just walk away without notice. But what you don’t realize is, you’re wrong…you’re not safe really, just alone.

Memories that force hesitation kept me still. If I went forward, what would happen? I had never travelled beyond the shortcut of disbelievers.

I was afraid. Afraid to stay…afraid to leave. Afraid to see beyond the trees. Afraid the door would disappear the moment someone told me it wasn’t there.

A door in the forest. A door in the forest. Repetition didn’t even make it sound right.

I opened and shut my eyes. It was still there.

I pinched my arm. Still there.

“Would you like to enter a world like no other?”

Now it talked? A talking door in the forest?

No. NO! No, I didn’t want to go. No, I didn’t want to stay. No, this wasn’t happening. And no, doors don’t belong in the forest. There was no door in the forest. Just me. Walking through like I always did. Going nowhere. But always getting there. No. No, I didn’t want to go.

My negations weren’t out loud, but the door responded anyway. “Would it be easier for you if I were a tree?”

A tree. Now a tree sort of made sense. A tree, strong and familiar. A tree could lift you to this other world.

I shook my head yes.

Out of the door grew branches and leaves. Branches and leaves that reached higher than any other bark. A tree that lifted me with such strength and gentleness, beyond the greens and browns of familiarity into blues and yellows and whites…opening my breath to the clean smell of hope.

With the branches blowing in the breeze, the tree asked me if I wanted to go farther…go farther and faster and higher and farther and faster and higher.

“Trees can’t fly.” I said.

“Would it be easier for you if I were a bird?”

A bird. A bird could maybe do that. “Of course,” I said.

Leaves became feathers. Branches stretched into wings. We flew through the clouds and passed the sun. So peacefully unfamiliar, I strangely knew that this was what heaven must be like. And stranger still, it was the first time I even let myself believe the possibility.

“Would you like to fly through it?”

“Heaven?” I asked.

“Birds can’t go to heaven,” I said.

“Would it be easier for you if I were an angel?”

I smiled as a flow of white surrounded me and we sailed further… beyond the sky, straight into love. I knew it was love, because it had no beginning and no end and I had no desire to look for either.

I don’t know how long I was there. There seemed no need for time.

I hadn’t even noticed how sure and steady my heart was beating, until the angel told me I had to go back.

“But I can’t go back to the ground. I can no longer walk in a forest without doors.”

“Would it be easier for you if I walked with you?”

“Angels can’t live in the forest,” I said, now surrounded by trees.

“Would it be easier for you if I lived in your heart?”

Knowing it would, the angel crawled inside of me and blanketed my heart. It beat sure again, without my urging.

The greens became greener and the browns more brown. I walked on familiar ground, that I had never really felt before.

Then I saw you, lost in a spot, no doubt you had frequented…looking forward and back, side to side.

“It’s a door,” I said.

“No,” were the tears you cried.

“Would it be easier for you if I went with you?” I asked.

Together we walked through the door in the forest.