Friday, August 10, 2012

Middle-aged musings and Presidential quote

      “Some people ask why men go hunting. They must be the kind of people who seldom get far from highways. What do they know of the tryst a hunting man keeps with the wind and the trees and the sky? Hunting? The means are greater than the end and...every hunter knows it.” Gordon MacQuerrie-1938(via Colorado bowhunter Jason Cox)

      The above quote hits the nail squarely on the head for me. I often sit back and wonder why the outdoors, hunting and fishing are so important to me. I'm normally not one that's at a loss for words, but it really is hard to describe why I need the outdoors, why I need nature. You see, I'm part of nature and it's part of me...my time outdoors is like a cool drink of water on a scorching day or a bite to eat when I'm famished. It helps sustain me...My job has me behind a desk or the steering wheel of a car or seated in a chair at a meeting. All well and good and it pays the bills, but it's not my environment. It's foreign...uncomfortable, but a part of everyday life. I need my escape, my sanctuary...wilderness and nature.

      As I age and mature, my vision seems to be getting worse and my hearing is heading South, although I've been accused of having selective hearing! But, when I'm in the woods, among the trees, my senses come back. I'm tingling with life...my ears hear and my eyes more acute. My imagination takes over and I'm a younger man again and I feel connected... This is where I'm meant to be and what I'm supposed to be doing as I sneak along a trail or sit high in my perch waiting on a buck to pass under. Sometimes, I think I should've been born in a different time and place, another era... When I'm out there, in the shadows and under the limbs, I become part of the woods...I experience it and get to witness real life, just as God created it. If things go well, I participate in the show, but most of the time, I'm content to sit back and soak it in...

      The older I get, the more important my time outdoors means to me. It's not about the catch or the kill or the size of the antlers or weight of the fish. It's the experiences, it's the memories made... The journey really has become more than the destination...

      President Calvin Coolidge once said... “There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for the tired minds and for our over-burdened spirits. There is strength in the hills if only we lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.”

      Right on Mr. Coolidge...right on.