She wanders, weaving slowly through the trees. Her feet kicking up the decaying leaf litter on the forest floor. Pausing at the base of an oak, wide as half a dozen people around, she wraps her arms around its trunk and lays her cheek against the rough bark.
As if listening to the ocean in a conch shell, she hears the life of the tree deep inside. A quiet smooth rushing and the soft trickle of sap.
The sunlight dances on her skin as she sinks down to sit on the arched roots where the tree clings to the ground. Her cheek brushes moss, a cushion, a contrast to the parched cracked texture of the bark.
Its wrinkled skin, impermeable, etched with the lines of life, of wisdom, holds her close in spirit. And right then she knows, after so long searching among people, here is where she belongs. The forest is her tribe, the oak her elder. She need search no more.