November 25, 2005

Morning

Often when I am trying to sort through difficult feelings, I will wake up in the middle of the night and write in my journal. Something about the dark quietness of a house in which everyone is asleep that makes these feelings rise to the surface. And writing has always been my way of figuring them out, accepting them, allowing the feelings to happen.

When morning comes, my favorite thing to do is to put on my coat and boots, and take a walk through the woods behind my house. I've got miles of trails, and no matter what the season, striding through the woods always calms me, comforts me. About half a mile back, in the center of the woods, is a fallen-over tree to sit on, a place to think. Often I walk back and forth on the log, learning to balance.

This morning, I woke early to sunshine filling my bedroom. My husband had left early for work, and the teenagers were still asleep. I sat in bed, wrapped in my down quilt, and read through my journal, all the scribbled down dark night thoughts. New snow had fallen, and the woods outside the window were invitingly covered with white.

But the sound of gunshot erased the any thoughts I had about going for a walk. The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, the woods are filled with hunters. Yes, I know that since I own the woods, I could post the land and keep them out, but I don't feel right asking neighbors who have hunted on this land their whole lives to keep off simply because I own it now. I don't think it’s that unreasonable for me to stay out of the woods for a few weeks each year.

So perhaps I will drive to a state park instead, taking a hike at Pretty Colour Lake. I suppose I could put the energy into cleaning my house. (Okay, even as I typed that, I knew I was not serious.) Perhaps I'll go back to bed and try to take a nap before the teenagers wake up. Or perhaps, I'll listen to the gunshot and write in my journal some more, hoping that the sunshine pouring in the window will be enough to change my perspective.

16 comments:

Teri said...

I love the woods too. They are calming and relaxing.

mindspin said...

I know - Plan A is so perfect, it's hard to think of Plan B. And who, other than hunters, looks forward to hunting season?

brina said...

No white mittens for you.

Not Scott said...

One of the first hikes we went on after moving to Nebraska was in a state park. We went deep into the remote part of the park and then started to circle around when we heard the gunshots. We were totally clueless about hunting seasons, but we knew that the only way back was along a trail headed right for the guns. After about 10 minutes of hunkering down behind a ridge, we started yelling that we were coming out and to please stop shooting.

As we walked on, the trail was bordered by farmland where two guys were sitting outside their pickup. They politely waved and then shot in the other direction. I have no idea what they were shooting at. Probably Okalahoma fans.

Nice thanksgiving post, too.

Woman said...

When I first started reading your blog, I thought you were a man. For weeks I thought you were a man! I thought you were the coolest, most sensitive and thoughtful man in the world. Then one day you wrote something that made me realize you are a woman. And although it was pretty disappointing, it made me realize there could not possibly be such a man in existence. After some time, I've adjusted to your being a woman, and really enjoy your blog.

Friday Mom said...

Don't know what's on your mind, but wanted you to know I'm thinking about you. I miss having the woods close by. It's not the same walking the "electric" trail (i.e., the trail that follows along the electrical wiring for the city). There is nothing like being held in the gentle arms of nature to calm me and bring things back into perspective.

chichimama said...

I hope you were able to work through what was on your mind.

Oliver said...

Your blog is looking great jo(e)! And your writing is as excellent as always. I hope you had a *wonderful* Thanksgiving.

RussianViolets said...

I'm so jealous that you have land like that and that you get to use it. :-) I want to invite myself out for a visit. hee hee

ccw said...

I hope you find someplace nice and peaceful to take a walk.

I love your attitude towards the hunters and your land. It is very kind of you to keep it open and available.

listmaker said...

I love the woods, too. I grew up in a place with acres of woods behind the house. It was our playground when we were kids, except during hunting season. The sound of gunfire would send us running for the house, as sometimes hunters wouldn't realize how close they were to an inhabited area.

Lorna said...

what a lovely way to start your day normally :) I suppose the self imposed ban on being in your woods, makes it all the more precious when the hunters have left and you can walk there again

be blessed:)

colleen said...

Are you wearing blaze orange?

It's nice that you share the woods.

jo(e) said...

I don't actually wear blaze orange -- but my winter coat is bright red. And I do stay out of the woods during hunting season.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Can someone explain to me why hunters wear both blaze orange *and* camouflage. I mean, I know the orange is so that other hunters can see you and the camouflage is so that the deer won't see you. But doesn't the one cancel the other out?

So far I've heard two explanations:

1. Deer can't see orange, so they will be fooled by the camouflage and not notice the blaze orange.

2. Hunters really like wearing camouflage, because it is so very very macho. The fact that it serves no purpose is irrelevant.

I prefer explanation #2. It fits with the way hunters outfit their trucks, ladening them with all sorts of pseudo-utilitarian lights and grillwork. (Have you noticed that some people will put and extra grill-thing in front of their bumper? It's, like, a bumper for their bumper.)

Explanation #1 doesn't really make sense, on the other hand. If deer can't see orange (or just see it as black) why not wear lots more orange? Work orange into the camouflage pattern?

jo(e) said...

Rob: I think the whole macho element does explain why hunters wear camouflage to class. I mean, the camouflage does not protect them much from making errors on their papers.

The hunters I know wear blaze orange only because it is required by law. If you are hunting deer in this state, more than 30 percent of your body must be covered by blaze orange. But they wear if grudgingly. Even if the deer see the blaze orange as a solid black, well, that is still unnatural enough to make them suspicious. So it does make sense that a hunter wouldn't want to dress in blaze orange from head to toe.