Fennel Forest, Corte Madera Marsh | Mark Lindsay

Today on my photo walk I encountered a tall stand of wild fennel. The fennel was taller than I was so that made it magical. Upon discovering it, it immediately triggered that feeling. We all know it. It's that certain something felt in the gut that takes us to another state of being. It brings us back to the wide-eyed wonder of the world that was our universe when we were tiny. Tall grass will do this to you, tall fennel too. Corn fields in summer are just about perfect. When in the realm of the tall plants, the world is transformed into an enchanted forest.

When in the enchanted forest as a boy, I always wondered why adults were so damned serious. As kids, we had tall swamp grass in which to get lost. There was no fennel in New Jersey but there certainly were swamps. Back then, swamps were something to fill in and destroy. The adults deemed them useless. Before the builders got to them, we'd run through them and prove them wrong. Alas, many of the swamps of our youth have vanished. Maybe the adults never smiled because they couldn't find the enchanted forest in them. They were too busy with destruction.

This morning I needed the enchanted forest. There was too much noise, too many emails, too much connectivity. I needed a different kind of connection, one that had nothing to do with DSL or the Internet. When did the world become so plugged into nonsense? It matters not, not when an enchanted forest can be found so close to home.