Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My need for wild spaces

After too long an absence I was able to go for a walk in our woods this evening, and it was like comfort food for my soul. It's not as if I've been completely out of touch with nature. Because I care to look, I see wild life everywhere I go. But too often lately I have been too busy and too tired for even a brief forest saunter. I think things are kind of getting back to normal now, and I am grateful for it. I don't know about you, but I need time in green, wild spaces. Like a compass, nature orients my mind and helps me know where I am.

A new job and the busiest month of May ever has also kept me from reflection and writing, and I look forward to getting back to it. I have been able to do some reading, though, sometimes escaping for a whole hour to the north woods with Sigurd Olson on my lunch break. If you enjoy time in nature and you haven't read anything by Sig Olson, I suggest you look him up and read a little. I know his words certainly resonate in my heart. From some of his lesser known writings, here are a few tidbits to whet your appetite:
"The same sun shines everywhere and the same moon and the wind. One place is as wild as the other and as beautiful if one can see with eyes that understand." — Journal, February 20, 1940
Sigurd Olson
"I have found that people go to the wilderness for many things, but the most important of these is perspective. They may think they go for the fishing or the scenery or companionship, but in reality it is something far deeper. They go to the wilderness for the good of their souls." — from "We Need Wilderness," National Parks Magazine, January-March 1946
"Wilderness is more than lakes, rivers, and timber along the shores, more than fishing or just camping. It is the sense of the primeval, of space, solitude, silence, and the eternal mystery. It is a fragile quality and is destroyed by man and his machines." — from "Wilderness Preservation," Naturalist, Winter 1964
"Many go through life without making an effort to unearth the hidden stores within them and die having lived sterile lives in their own arid deserts. Many go through stifled by the narrowness of their daily affairs little dreaming that at their very doors for the asking is a wilderness to explore, the wilderness of their understanding." — Journal, January 17, 1930
"The inner world has to do with the wilderness from which we came, timelessness, cosmic rhythms, and the deep feelings men have for an unchanged environment. It is a oneness and communion with nature, a basic awareness of beauty, and earth wisdom which since the beginning of man's rise from the primitive have nourished his visions and his dreams." — Runes of the North

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