At dawn we came to a large lake. By the broken shoreline, the water surface was covered with a canopy of duckweed, and the first rays of sun, gliding along the surface, fell into the gaps between the duckweed to the bottom of the lake. An old, flooded forest rose out of the water. The tops of the giant trees were hidden behind the morning mist, and the trunks and roots had long been swallowed up by the water.

Sveta Shuvaeva, 2020

When the fog cleared and the sun was fully reflected in the water, we dived straight into its reflection. Once we read how Alice fell down a rabbit hole, so we flew down, but not into the hole, but into the tower of a mirror-like waterfall. As we approached the mirror bed, we noticed our reflections in it. How funny we appeared with puffed-up cheeks and how many of us were there! Looking around, we realized that the waterfall was hidden inside a large tree, the roots of which provided somewhere to climb through. We set off deep into the narrowest of offshoots with fireflies stuck inside. There, at the bottom of the lake, one could well believe that it was August and we were standing under the night sky waiting for a shooting star. Or maybe it was all true and we really observed constellations entrapped with crystals, moss and dried flowers in the roots of an old tree. Venturing out from the star alley (as we later called it when we retold our adventure at home), we found ourselves on open ground — before us was a flooded forest, or rather just its foundation, which was quietly rustling before us.

October 2020
From the diary of S.Sh.

Authors of the project

Now, sitting at home, I’m trying to remember what season it was then. I remember the spacious green glades between the trees, but I also remember snowdrifts, how we played snowballs. Perhaps it was both summer and winter at the same time. Running up the green slope, we found a fallen tree with a rotten core. There were drifts of snow inside the tree. Without hesitation, we climbed inside and settled comfortably in a pile of snow to rest, and then we fell asleep. I remember waking up to a bright ray directly falling on my face straight from a hollow branch — it was time to continue on my way. The forest was invaded by strange moulds and different types of mushroom. They could be torn from one place and replanted in another — they quickly fused with the new surface.

Duckweed rippled above us. As we stood on the shore of the lake, it seemed green and dense. Underwater, it was noticeable that it wasn’t: the duckweed was differently coloured and let the sunlight shine through. There were glimmers of blue, green, pink glints along the bottom, which we tried to catch.

In the distance, the light of a red searchlight could be seen behind the trunks of the trees. We went to explore and saw the light forming a barrier in front of us. Behind the reddish veil, we saw other people, just like us. They were busy with something, gathered at the beam breaking through the column of water. We dared not to disturb them and continued on our journey through the forest.

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