In the wild


Yesterday I spent most of my time in the woods with my father.

We dropped two trees and he taught me how to use a chainsaw. We spent the day sawing trees to pieces and then splitting them by hand.

The trees, once alive, now standing dead, sound like giants falling. Your heart is in your throat and you watch it tip, fear, and awe filling your senses. I respect the time it took for them to grow so big, mourn that they died, and celebrate that they will keep us warm this winter by heating our home.

I’ve always been one of those people who feels closer to God amid nature. I feel He draws nearer to me the further away I get from other folks. Not to say people are bad, because people are great.

He is just out there in the woods, in the mountains, unadulterated and ready to talk.

Working like that with my hands and body, so different from my computer work, takes me back to a different time. When work was survival. It was food, it was heat, it was what you needed to make it through a season.

It was so good for me. In so many ways.

“To the desert go prophets and hermits; through desert go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality.”

Paul Shepard, Man in the Landscape: A Historic View of the Esthetics of Nature


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