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Rhiannon Wood - Editor in Chief

Spring is springing (in this hemisphere, anyway). In the southern hemisphere, it's cooling off, fading into the same sepia tones we have lived in these past few months. Good luck to you, our fellow forest dwellers in the south. Hibernate well, and stay warm. 

For those of us now venturing out among the blooming bulbs, we say a quiet, whispered ‘hello’. The daffodils tilting like windmills, the crocuses bursting with vibrant colour. Bright, fresh new greens, gently but persistently pushing up through the ground.

Before, when I lived in the city, I hated spring. It looked warm, but it was still freezing. The sun’s shine was trickery. It might still have snowed from that bright blue sky. Now, though, now I live in a forest by a river. The past few months have been nothing but drab mud, save for a few dark, faded greens that bravely coped with the frost, a covering of soul-sucking muck on everything. The sky has been overcast, and the sun has not reached my valley. Not until spring brought bright, cheery daffodils on my wall and the sun (when it deigns to appear) finally touching the sides of the valley and warming my skin in the morning.

Now, I love spring. In the city, it's harder to notice the nuance of seasons.  Here, in the forest, it's everywhere. You notice changes every day. The cycle of dying and growing, water flowing, and the sun getting higher and lower, all outside your front door. It's not hidden behind grey buildings and concrete jungles. Green is purely green here, with no dust. Breathe in that fresh air and let it fill your lungs.

Change in the forest is palpable. That's why being here, in our forest, is so wonderful. Me and you, dear reader, with our wonderful peddlers of words and fellow owls, we feel how this forest’s change beats hard and loud. This issue is filled with the beating heart of change. Metamorphoses slipping over and through your fingers. Wedding dresses woven from and into the fabric of our lives and loves. Life growing, whether it's wanted or not; death and departures that are always unwanted. Both cause growth and both cause decay. There is loss, the old world leaving, being blotted out… but what will be left in return? A new way of seeing? Perhaps. Death follows us  – they are within us, and we cannot escape them, no matter how many times we die. Our skin betrays us and slips too easily from our grasp, leaving a gaping wound beneath as our freedom is too easily snatched.

Change is visceral. It can hurt. It can be wonderful and life-affirming. It can be transformative and transcendent. When I look at all of us in this forest and how wonderfully, shimmeringly different we all are, how the picture I saw last time is completely different to the one I see now and the one I will see next, I can only think how much I love spring. I hope all of you joining us in our little forest of words and owls are springing. I hope you are all beginning to glisten, shift in your cocoons, push, and wiggle free. To become something you have always wanted to be. Remember, the only constant in life is change. So if you don’t like what you’ve become, if your reflection is not reflective of the innermost ‘scapes of you, remember spring. Stretch out those wings, ruffle those feathers and metamorphose into something else. Then do it again. Do it as many times as you need to. Change is beautiful. Difference is spectacular. So take a feathery wing and fly… 

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