The woods are lovely, dark and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
It begins in the hills of Arzier, looking out over Nyon and Lac Leman. I start in the evening so if its clear I catch the first minutes of golden hour. The road leads me through corn fields, along the train track–winding up from Nyon, passing through Arzier, and moving onto France–and then sends me into the forest.
I pick up speed as the trail dips down and then quickly lose it as it connects with a forest service road and v’s back up. Depending on when I started and how fast I’m going, after about 20 minutes in the forest dusk begins to set in. The quiet is exaggerated by the rhythmic crunch of my feet, breathing, and the distant chime of cowbells. Sometimes I stop and its still; once a group of chamois stepped out in front of me.
My imagination runs. I’ve churned through all the happenings of the day in a venting process over the last 45 minutes. It’s bordering on dark now and I pick up my speed as twig-snaps begin to echo and the forest begins to feel foreign. I cut out above my homestay and the sound of the road picks up quickly, snapping me out of that feeling which the forest gives me but I cannot yet describe. Robert Frost does it well. I can feel it in my chest and sometimes it overwhelms me, flooding into my throat.