There’s a wonderful and deep silence that’s part of the discipline of hunting. It takes a little while for the quiet to wrap itself around me and twine itself through me, and it takes a while for my mind to learn to read it and understand it. Read more »
The wind blew pretty hard a couple days ago as I sat in my treestand. The gentle rocking of the tree in the wind gave me a sense of security.
It’s not a particularly old tree – probably 30 or 40 years old would be my guess. In those years sitting on the edge of the Kansas prairie, it’s seen wind far greater than anything I’d want to sit through. It’s bent and swayed in the fury of winter blizzards and summer thunderstorms.
Though the wind felt big and strong the other evening, it was nothing compared to what my tree had seen in its lifetime, and knowing this made me feel particularly secure. As the tree swayed back and forth, creaking and groaning occasionally, I knew this flexibility was what made it strong. Rather than spending all it’s energy fighting the wind, it learned to use the wind to stretch and build a pliable strength. Roll with the breeze, bend with its fury.
It wasn’t a particularly good evening for hunting, as the wind made it unlikely I’d take many shots – the wind would make the flight of the arrow too unpredictable. But the gentle rocking ride was worth the time spent waiting for the wind to subside.
Eventually, it did indeed subside, and I watched the cover of a full-moon night slip over the quiet prairie in front of me, and the woods behind me. A doe came out and spent a little time in the meadow as darkness grew. A possum made his way noisily through the underbrush, and a couple raccoons squabbled briefly but loudly over some territory nearby. The songbirds tucked away one by one, and a beautiful sunset unfolded over my shoulder.
There was still enough breeze to carry the smell of a newly lit fire in a wood-stove somewhere upwind from me, as somebody settled in to enjoy a room warmed by a fire. It was past shooting light, but I was in no hurry to climb down out of my tree. I felt particularly good, and the bright full moon would light my walk back home.
Life was, indeed, quite good.
Part 2 – Fragility
It’s mid-November, a time when I disappear into the woods for a while each year. First for several days on the western slope of the Rockies hunting elk with my son, then into the Kansas prairie for a couple weeks of hunting whitetail deer where the prairie and the timber meet.