W&W 5: Can We Really Co-exist?

February 6, 2019

It is wonderful to be back out in the woods again! First our area faced the Polar Vortex Blizzard and then I caught a bad cold so I missed a week of Walk & Write. I sorely missed my nature and writing time.

North Country Trailhead at Starvation Lake Road

I really enjoy the section near my home which is accessible from Starvation Lake Road. Because I’m getting over my cold I thought it best to just do a two-mile hike and this section is pretty flat. I was pleasantly surprised that snowshoeing was really easy today due to a snow melt a couple of days ago, a refreeze yesterday, and two fresh inches on top last night. I barely sunk down into the snow for most of my hike.

Venturing one mile over to MacNeil Pond was just perfect for today’s W & W. After the hike in, I found a nice resting spot overlooking the pond with a tall red pine to rest my back against. Time to write and read!

Reflecting on my time absorbing the forest’s offerings, today I noticed many bits of red pine tips lying scattered along the path. Some were mostly submerged in the snow, others lay nestled in for a nap, while others bowed their head in silent prayer.

It is 22 degrees but the wind is mostly nonexistent. This forest is made up of a variety of trees including a red pine plantation, white birch, beech, aspen, and even a cut over section forming a forest of mullein. Tucked in beside the red pines is an oil rig unsettling the solitude. Today it is not pumping. I have mixed feelings about these rigs. They have provided a lot of jobs for people in the area and jobs are few and far between here. But, I believe it is time to put more of our resources into sustainable and renewable energy. The rig looks like a rusty old dinosaur trying to devour the woods. However, seeing the monster lurk here did inspire my haiku for tomorrow’s posting:


Drill head and red pines,
Can we really co-exist?
Man versus nature.

All is quiet upon the hill now as I write. There is no sign of man or beast (or drill heads). I observe the gentle sloping of the kettle moraine formed by long-ago glaciers, then notice the artwork carved into the trees by workaholic beavers.

For my Read today, I began the February chapter of Writing as a Path to Awakening by Albert DeSilver. (Loving this book!) The words perfectly reflect my experience in the woods today. Take a listen:

“Maybe reading is a primal act of tracking and hunting.”

“Contemporary reading is based on an ancient primal embodied knowledge of studying the landscape . . . terminal moraines and glacial erratics . . .”

“Nature is always writing her song for us to read and sing.”

“It’s as if the writer set off on a hunting expedition. Having broken trail . . . recorded their feelings, they now invite you along.”

Writing as a Path to Awakening by Albert Flynn DeSilver

It is always a wonder to me that when I experience Walk & Write, nature unfolds in perfect rhythm with me as the words I read and write work together harmoniously like a wind song.

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