I looked on at the housing developments poorly placed on the outskirts of desolate pastures and isolated by the woods. Each house was only a pumpkin vine away from each neighbor. They lived in the country, but yet they choose to live within the confinements of a small housing development, I never could understand how or why someone would find comfort with the view of a strangers kitchen or living room ever present. Beginning to let go of the comfort of having people a short distance from your own inhabitants is simply the first step towards appreciating and understanding what nature truly has to offer.
I’ve always found that city or suburbs life confined my creativity. I always find more hobbies, art, and poetry in the sea of trees then I did along green belts, sidewalks and park strips. The creativity within a park is in itself confined by the lines of concert and ends at the parking lot, where urban life begins again.
It is a bit scary at first, to think that I am the only person walking through the woods that there might be animals lingering along the treeline. But as confidence grows, so does awareness. I’ve learned to tell what noises are from the trees moving in harmony with the wind and those of small animals. Learning to watch for tracks and their living counterpart, to identify plants and trees, and to simple know my way around with the safety of knowing that I will eventually come to a road.
Tom Brown said “there is no sense of time in the woods” and I have found truth in his words. As I move about the different mosses and plants, becoming distracted by the rabbit tracks, or the moose scat, I often find myself spending much more time there then I had the intention of. I lose the need to keep track of time. The more inhabitants, the more I feel the need to keep track of time. I watch the clock to make sure I drive before or after rush hour, I time myself in and out of stores to make sure I make the next one on time, I feel the need to be home at a certain time to eat dinner, everything I do is run off the constant ticking of the hands on my watch.
I aim to shed the worries that I’m running out of time to do all the things I wish to accomplish, I don’t want to rush through life and if I only lose a sense of time on the edge of the woods, then call me a hermit. I know that every moment should be cherished, because there is no retrieving the lost time. I have banished the watches and am going to take my time through life, with lots of coffee, long walks and family to entertain and not leave any dull moments.