lavi forest

Into the Dark Wood

We park the RHD (right hand drive) vehicle on the “wrong” side of the road and walk to the lookout. The mountains of Western Cyprus unfold. It is magnificent. One does not expect such vertical drama on an island. Clinging to crumbling slopes are some of the oldest trees on planet earth. I rehearse my paradigms. It is “highland forest” in Mediterranean style: windswept, cool, dry. Scientists use the term biome to describe regions with unique constellations of climate, fauna, and flora.

Monkey Butt

I stand by the road in the wood and wave goodbye to a dear friend. He smiles weakly and waves back. I detect concern in his eyes, as if he thinks I shouldn’t be left alone. Hani is a trained pastor who knows how to read the signs. I am far from home, a babe in the woods. The car begins to roll away then stops suddenly. Hani cranks his head out the window. “Call me, ok?” he pleads.