I am so excited. This is my first expedition to the Funnel Bog.
My research group is joined by three tourists in the waiting room.
Our names are called, and we open the door at the base of a thick tree. We get into an elevator, which takes us to the top of the tree.
As soon as I step into the glass tunnel, my heart jumps with happiness. I feel like I’m 5 years old again, opening presents on Christmas—only better.
The tunnel starts 20 meters above ground. I look down and have a shiver of vertigo. Below my feet, I can see a mishmash of tree branches. It’s dark, scary, and the most beautiful image I’ve ever seen.
As my colleagues argue amongst themselves about the correct Latin names for the insects we see around us, I squoosh my face against the sidewall. I observe a caterpillar walking on the other side, 1 centimeter in front of my nose.
We continue walking along the tunnel, slowly going down. And then, we go under the ground. Rings of light illuminate our path, going around the circumference of the tunnel every meter or so.
We are now under 10 meters of peat. I can see the layers of dead organic matter, showing the History of this place. I stop to note down the size of each layer in my phone. They look like a moist, layered chocolate cake.
I look ahead and notice that I can’t see my colleagues anymore.
It is so quiet here. So peaceful. My body tingles with the exuberant glory of the layers of mysteries around me. They’re not so mysterious anymore. It feels like I’ve been here all along. The soles of my feet feel a humming vibration coming from every single soul buried in the bog. They are whispering, Mia… You are one of us…
I know what to do.
I take one of the trekking poles fastened to my backpack. I start hitting the glass above me as hard as I can. The glass begins to crack and eventually breaks, giving in to the weight of the peat.
The soil pours onto my head like a high-pressure shower. I welcome the stench of death in my nostrils. It’s overwhelming and freeing at the same time.
The peat continues to pour until it envelops me completely. I have flashes of being back in my mother’s warm, moist womb. I am finally home.
Lara da Rocha Netherlands I am a data analyst by day, aspiring writer by night. Most of my writing is non-fiction, humorous personal essays, and now I’m trying my hand at fiction as well. I’ve had “climate change depression” for most of my life, and the Cli-Fi Imaginarium is a great way to educate myself and others about climate solutions and feel more hopeful. You can find more of my writing on Medium https://laradarocha.medium.com/ View all posts