"The seasons come and go, summer follows spring and fall follows summer and winter follows fall, and human beings are born and mature, have their middle age, begin to grow older and die, and everything has its cycles. Day follows night, night follows day. It is good to be part of all of this." ~American Indian saying “One thing I want to do on this little getaway is walk in an aspen forest!” I said these words to Helene while leaving for a short getaway last week. As we drove our 1995 Eurovan … [Read more...] about How Many More Autumns Do I Have Left?
Fifteen feet above the forest floor. Enveloped by the needled branches of white fir and Douglas fir trees. Cooled by a most welcome breeze that carries the slightest hint of fall. Chattering pygmy nuthatches from the tops of the nearby pines. It’s been a good long while, and way too long – decades, in fact – since I spent any time in a treehouse. Every kid should know what it is like to play, daydream, climb into, relax, and just hang out in a treehouse. Making sure my two … [Read more...] about Hanging Out in a Treehouse
I’m reading yet another book on John Muir, this one by a fine writer, Kim Heacox, about Muir’s travels to Alaska to observe and explore glaciers. I am always moved by accounts of how Muir’s love of wild places was such a driving force in all that he did. I especially appreciate the story about Muir’s meeting of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was 1871, Emerson was 68, Muir 33. In spite of Emerson’s entourage, who were concerned about the old man’s health, Muir begged Emerson to spend more time with … [Read more...] about Why John Muir is One Of My Nature Heroes
Ah, summer – long hot days, rainstorms, no school, vacations from work, fishing, swimming, picnics, visits to National Parks, trips to the beach… We all have our own associations when we think of summer, these and others. Last week, I picked up my 10-year old grandson Jude from a summer camp that he attended, one that focused on wilderness skills such as shelter building, finding safe drinking water, and how to build a friction fire. I thought that summer camp will likely be on his list of … [Read more...] about How Loud Did He Burp? What Kids Learn At Summer Camp
I took a trail walk this morning, enjoying the cool moist morning air and the woods full of bird song. As I was nearing the end of the trail, I stopped to pick up several pieces of trash when I noticed another piece off the trail a ways. My hands were pretty full, and I did not really feel like scrambling through the brush to get the last piece. In the short mental moment when I was deciding whether or not retrieve it, the thought occurred to me, If I don't pick up that piece of trash, who will? … [Read more...] about If Not Me, Then Who?
I was planning on writing a blog now, maybe on the metaphor hiding in the 8" of new snow we just received in the middle of May. But then I heard this voice, which I decided was coming from outside. I am not sure if it was the trees, or the sky that just can't shake the clouds and occasional snow squalls, or the black-headed grosbeaks and dark-eyed juncoes at the bird feeders that were calling me, but the message was clear - come on out, the air is fine. Great idea, I said to myself! So, I am now … [Read more...] about To Blog or To Walk, That is a Silly Question
A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing with a client the question of whether or not creating a non-profit would be the right way to proceed as he developed his vision of bringing groups, especially boys and men, to Nature. One factor that often comes up when people have a desire to provide meaningful experiences and other human services is that such services cost money, and so many people who would benefit from these services can often not afford to pay for them. Sure, the kids who live in a … [Read more...] about The World Needs Non-Profits -You Can Create An Amazing One!
Late March and early April is, according to the calendar, the beginning of spring. When I think of the word spring, I think of gentle days of wildflowers, soaking rains, a greening landscape, warming days. Yet, when I look out at the southern Colorado landscape around me today, I see lots of white – the remains of yesterday’s seven inches of wet snow. Regardless of the fact that my homescape is officially in the first days of the spring season, I see these days as more of a time between … [Read more...] about Living in the In-Between
"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” ~ Thomas Moore There was a book I read thirty years ago that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I don’t remember many details of the chapters themselves, but the essence of the book that is captured in its title, Chop Wood Carry Water, has been coming up for me a lot lately. Living in a house that is heated by wood (and the sun), I am very much in tune with chopping … [Read more...] about Chopping Wood
A lone snowflake drifts out of a slate-colored sky and finds its way onto the page of my journal that I am writing on. A woodpecker squawks. I trudged through over a foot of new snow to get to this somewhat protected place along a path I have walked a thousand times. In precipitation of every variety, in sunlight, in moonlight, in violent winds that brought down trees, in every condition have I walked that path. Today, I walked it as it wound through a world magically transformed. Yesterday … [Read more...] about Winter Has Arrived