She sat thinking about her life, the problems that were going on, that seemed to be overwhelming her, work, love, all that she seemed to try went wrong. What else could she do, she did not really know which way to turn.

Suddenly she stood up suddenly feeling the need to get out of her small room, to get out of the box she felt closing round her.

She drove to a small wood, on the edge of the town, she now called her home. Driving with only half knowing where or why she drove. And when she turned off the car engine, she still did not know just why she was there, and exactly where she was.

She got out the car, picked up a spare bottle of water she had left from her trip to work, started making her way down the path that lead into the wood.

As she moved through the tree's the branches seemed to meet over her head like a green canopy, sun light dappled through the branches, spreading moving patterns of light round the world she now moved through. Ahead she could just make out a small clearing, it seemed almost like it was made for her. Quietly, scared to make a sound for fear of breaking the silence, she entered the glade. There she sat on a log and sipped her water.

It was so quiet, so peaceful, almost at once her restless mind started to calm, thoughts that had been tossed around like a small ship on an ocean, now started to form sense and reason.

She sat and thought about her life, as the sun set, and the red touch of evening filled the sky, a small noise near her brought her from her thoughts. She looked down and noticed several small rabbits that now played and ate near her, seemingly taking no notice of her. As she watched, a young deer slowly entered the glade from the woods edge. She sat still, not wanting the break the spell or frighten any of the animals. The evening felt the first hint of night's chill the animals left the glade. Slowly she got up, and found her way back to the car.

She drove back to the flat, her mind seemingly at peace.

There after, she often went back to the glade, each time putting her life back into some form of order. The animals seeming to know her, and accept her and through the spring she learned more about them and their ways.

Then one day, as she entered the glade, she noticed another person sitting on her log. She approached, not wanting to break the spell that the glade held, it was a man, about her own age, who seemed lost and trapped in the magic of the glade she knew so well.

She moved next to him, and he jumped, "Sorry" she said, "I did not mean to startle you."

And that was the start, they talked in soft whispers finding out about each other, and as they sat, the animals came to meet their friend and her new man, that even now was starting to become part of her life.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and the seasons came and went. Though they did meet and go out, the glade was still their special place, their refuge. As winter turned to spring and everything started to blossom and grow, so did their love. Then one day he asked her to marry him, there in the grove that had become a second home to them both.

Six months later, beside the log where the animals still played in the autumn light, a wedding bouquet was left, as the two of them shared their marriage with the glade.

Years went by and the leaves turned through their full range of colors. And as with the seasons bringing forth new life, so did their marriage. The visitors to the glade went from two to three, to four. They lived their lives happy, as one with the world, a world forever blessed by the special spot, where they first met.

Barry Eva 200