In the years of one’s life, you remember that solitary walk in the woods that inspired a vision about the lessons that nature held for humankind. That unforgettable fishing trip with your father that taught you things about life you did not know. But can you count the fingers, on one hand, the number of times you have been blinded by the light of understanding in the outdoors?
It’s not that I have given life’s edge a sporting chance. I’ve raced dirt towering turns and rushed through tall tree lines at Byron’s Motorsports Park IL. Flew 10 ft. off the water over Lake Michigan along the shore only to have the path spill into Whitefish Bay, Wisc. and skied 10,000 ft. slopes that guided you next to a sheer drop-off along Thyans Canyon, Park City, Utah.
It’s experiences like these that leave your heart pounding and breath quickened because you were so absorbed in the moment.
True to, is the sensation of a good hunting dog busting a hidden pheasant in tall grasses and having it explode into the air as though it was shot from a cannon, like mallards circling overhead blowing your favorite duck call while the dog’s tail is beating against the wall of the blind in anticipation to take part in the circle of life.
I’ve camped and hiked trails along the Great Smoky Mountains and been disoriented from camp only to find a stream of crystal ice-cold water flowing from a crack in the mountain to gain a gulp of confidence and clear my senses in order to find my way back. But it was the time in going back to camp, having pheasants explode from the grass and mallards circling overhead that something clicked in the recesses of my soul helping me to understand the rhythm of all life on Earth.
These are places calculated to inspire, yet the light of inspiration comes infrequent at best. The gift of understanding nature on those rare occasions cannot be forced, it must come to you on its own accord like pleasant dreams or true love. So the next time you go to the edge or into the outdoors and it speaks to you, it is not because the experience owes you an explanation of what it is to be human, but a gift nature gives you when your soul is ready to absorb it.
Here’s a little story about friends and dogs. A Hunter’s Heart
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