What’s Mine Is Mine and What’s Yours Is Yours
I step out of the van and straight into a real-world approximation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lothlórien, which was the famous Elven forest lying in a woodland valley. I am surrounded by large red and white pine trees. Although the pines are clearly dominating the landscapes, there are occasional low-lying cedar trees interspersed with tall ferns and mosses. The dark greens of the needles are contrasted with the reddish hues of the trunks and the oranges of last year’s fallen needles. Shafts of sunlight penetrate the gaps in branches and provide some light to the forest floor. I pause to inhale deeply. The splendor of nature greets my nose, and I am enveloped with a mix of earthen and pine aromas. The damp forest floors emit a heavy and peaty smell that connects me with the earth. The clean air and pine smells create a perception of pure nature. Finally, I listen. Just beyond my vision is a river. I can make out the familiar but distinctive and pleasing sounds of water rushing over rapids and small waterfalls. The sound is subtle, but because I have been here multiple times, I know the sound.