Last night after the kids were in bed I went for a walk alone in the woods. I was sitting there on the edge of a steep drop, perched on a stump. I call it my "sitting place", reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, a place where I can "think, think" and just be. Much like Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory "This is my spot", I may go so far as to pee on it, to mark it as mine, because it feels like exactly where I belong. In the wilds of nature.
I was watching the sunset as The Mentastas came alive in hot pink and deep blue, and squirrels quarreling with a grey jay in a spruce tree. I was getting acquainted with the trees, three of them to be exact, young spruce I am calling The Three Sisters. I want to knit a shawl out of some natural fiber and stick things in it, sticks and bones, and then photograph them and watch them grow into strong and healthy women. I can't help it, I really am a tree hugger. I was taking photos, lots and lots of photos. And dreaming of staging the woods along the trail with secret surprises. Gnomes. Moose skeletons, beaver jaw bones, caribou antlers. Fairies. The three sisters enrobed in a natural fiber shawl peppered with unexpected trinkets. Benches and other places for sitting and thinking. Existing.
From my sitting spot I can observe nature. Scenes like this capture my attention (not an easy thing to do) and give me a reason to pause. Permission to be.
The short sections of trail I have thus far managed to resurrect have left me with a light joyful feeling in my heart. Being out here on the homestead feels like we are some place remote and truly wild. Then I am reminded of the high speed internet, electricity, interior plumbing and hot water, the telephone. Then I start to feel a bit like Jimmy Fallon as "Wild Nature Survivor Guy" on Sesame Street. "Relying on my instincts, I’ll see if I can survive out here in the middle of nature -- completely alone." (Wild Nature Survivor Guy).
"I know nature when I see it, after all I’m wild nature" survivor girl.
On that trail, I just feel "WILD", then I go back "inside" to electricity, running water - hot showers and clean dishes, telephone, and high speed internet - which happens to have better connectivity and reliable speed than we ever had "In Town". Then I feel like I am living a not-so-wild life, because we have all the comforts of "The City".
The pull of an authentic experience with nature still tugs at my heart strings and I find it tempting not to move forty miles into the wilderness to live in a trappers cabin and really experience The Wild Life. Someday. Fully aware I am shelving that dream for the time being, I keep singing Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band to myself, reminding me that the lights go down and you up and die. Nothing is permanent. Nothing guaranteed. Every moment a divine gift. Something to savor. To cherish.
Out in nature you can explore and discover things about the world, about yourself that might not be possible to examine with the backdrop of noise and daily life drowning out the call of the wild.
Scenes like this one: quaking aspen trees perched along a steep hillside, rattling and shaking in the icy fall winds. Simple. Beautiful. Impossible to truly capture. A life lesson that has been heavily reinforced since moving out into "Nature", is no matter how good you are at writing and photographing, there is no substitute for getting out there yourself, rolling up your sleeves, digging deep in the cool earth, splashing through a puddle, and feeling the icy wind numb your cheeks. One cannot possibly sum up that experience in words and pictures because it is a feeling. The sensation. The smell. The energy of a place.
- Wild Nature Survivor Girl signing off to go on more epic journeys in "Nature".