A Mindful Stroll Through The Neighborhood Forest

Today, on another cloudy day in Pankow, I decided to take a walk. With the start of the semester feeling like coming out of a summer induced snooze, I’ve been trying to remain grounded by going outside and wandering. Sometimes these walks take me towards the city center—all noise and delightful people-watching. But other times, I find myself in the forest near campus, admiring the light streaming in between trees. Even though at first glance the city may contain more action, I’m always surprised by how tantalizing the woods are when one really pays attention. Thus, as an exercise in seeing, I decided to capture vignettes of Volkspark Schönholzer Heide, our pleasant local forest! 

“See” – Zoë Knable

My first stop was the lake near the forest. The German word for lake is “See”, which I’ve always loved. Sometimes I prefer watching the trees through the glassy reflection of water than with my direct eye.

“Gnarl” – Zoë Knable

I stopped for some time to examine the fascinating array of gnarled roots of an old tree. Recently in my analogue photography class at the college I’ve been interested in examining different textures. This felt very fitting.

“Shadows” – Zoë Knable

I enjoy shadow-play, and in the damp, grey morning light I felt as though it would only be fitting to convert some images to black and white. I quite liked this image, which came out as accidentally blurry.

Light Seen Through Trees” – Zoë Knable

Recently I read a book by Martin Newell called “Horses seen through trees”, about the history of North-East Essex, England. The title really stuck with me, and though Pankow doesn’t have (a lot of) horses, I also think “Light seen through trees” has a nice ring to it.

“Old and New” – Zoë Knable

Look at that soil! It made me so happy to see such healthy earth, and a delicate sign of the season to come.

“A Reflection” – Zoë Knable

At the end of my walk, I circled back to the lake and looked at the trees through the reflecting surface. I sat here for some time and reflected on my summer, and what was to come. 

Over the past few years, I have grown to deeply appreciate Pankow and all of its hidden natural treasures. In moments of stress, it is so lovely to encounter the quiet surrender of the forests, parks, and meadows of the neighborhood. As the semester continues, I look forward to finding and documenting more green spaces to share with our community.  

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