A Quiet Narrative in the Woods

I let him stay…

After trouncing around for a half hour, grabbing a beer from the multi-keg trailer unit that oozed smelly cheap froth, I realized that it might be impossible to find a spot in the woods at this compound that would give me a 50x50yd space of solitude. Seventeen-hundred men at this campout, divided into the site’s acreage, might prove me wrong, but I was finished trying to find that lonesome mecca.

I took a big swig of my cheap beer that was held in an old Ice Mountain water bottle and named him Steve…

Running in and out of companionship with my brothers, and currently, a small squawking blue bird who seems to be loudly gathering materials to build a nest, I romped around the grounds.   My path seemed to be driven only by the quest to find a humanless area in the woods; to be quiet and filled with nature – the smell of fresh air, beautiful blossoming trees and bushes, and the pitter patter and chirping of the small critters. I walked past the green scummy-looking pond and loosely followed a small ravine with a little creek at the bottom.

Gulp. I’m thinking of putting a dip in. Men are starting to rustle about and a woodpecker is testing the strength of his lips whilst getting after some bugs.

Damn human noise pollution! Swig…

The path of the ravine ran me to the limits of the property. Or so I guessed, as I came across a rusty metal fence that was impenetrable. After following it for a while I decided to turn back towards the tents and south-east, according to the time of day.

Puts a Grizzly wintergreen dip pouch in after hearing a middle-aged man rustically cough and a new bird sing a song of longing…

Heading into the direction of the sun I remembered seeing a new construction site – looked like a decent sized building with barren beams erected. I figured not too many people would venture into the woods beyond. The assumption held true for the most part as this area was the least populated of where I hiked. I did, however, still pass my dad who was perched at the beginning of the hard-hat area like a guard dog without a chain or snarl.

With a head-nod we acknowledged each other and, at least in my mind, also remembered that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. He’ll probably get a kick out of hearing of my promotion-that is blindingly representative of his career path.

Spits and takes a warm swig…

Another 200 yards in, through the more-dense undergrowth, I found a decent spot next to a dried up creek under a tree with small red berries and surrounded by plants that look like they would deposit sticky briars on me, but do not. There is a distant siren beckoning us to emerge from our flow-states in the woods.

This dip is nice after 2 weeks of no tobacco, and the mid-day sun is encouraging me to shed layers of clothing. I hope there isn’t poison ivy around as I readjust my seat for my bad leg, which is falling asleep. A leaf falls into the booklet I’m writing in and I will keep it there…

I take in the surroundings. Ugh, I miss this peace; the changing colors from the fall solstice, the dim humming of the bugs, the birds calling and performing roll call – nature at its most primal setting – minus my plastic bullshit.

Spits out the pouch and sips beer; yeah, another pouch is in order…

I look down and observe a yellow stringy looking fungus growing on an otherwise seemingly dead small tree; indistinguishable from many others around me. On the way up to leveling my vision, I meet Steve. He was a small bug that I couldn’t recognize its species. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this type of bug and he was very friendly. We hung out together until I had space from other humans that I was seeking. As random leaves, sticks, and bird piss fell through the still air around me, Steve turned toward me on my leg. He seemed to say “tootles” and graciously wish me cheer. He flew away not to be seen again. It was a nice visit and he gave me companionship up until the right moment.

I don’t know if others struggle to be by themselves, to be in the woods or nature, a combination of both, or if it was just the men around me, but I now have the area I wanted when I first started looking for it. The men around me packed up and went back to our little camping society.

I feel this is somewhat telling of my character – I will think hard about what I want, work hard for the best I can get, then with patience wait until it manifests.

I take another reflective swig from my beer being held in the tree next to me. I do not want to go back. It’s clear that I need (though I hate using the word ‘need’) more of this setting in my life; alone time, time in nature, writing time…

The alerts have stopped long ago – lunch time – I may fast for a couple days. I’m not sure, but I do know that I will sit here for a while longer and appreciate everything that I can.

Takes last sip of beer…

Cheers, Steve!

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