This is Why I Do What I Do

Today I did what I do most weekends: I headed for the great outdoors. Today’s mission: look for shed antlers and maybe a coyote or two. As I prepared to leave home, dark clouds filled the sky and the wind was blowing hard. However, the thought of staying home never crossed my mind.

As I neared my destination, rain started to pelt the truck. Cursing the weatherman for his usual inaccurate forecast, I continued on, never once considering abandoning my mission. As I started hiking, the wind continued to whip, seeping through the zippers of my pants and blowing my cap off my head several times. Calling coyotes in this wind would be a waste of time. Then the rain started again, an icy rain that felt like hundreds of tiny hard pellets hitting my skin. And yet, I continued on. Why do I subject myself to these miserable conditions? Am I crazy? Wouldn’t I rather be at home, sitting in a warm, dry living room watching TV?

Every time I go out, I am reminded why I keep doing what I do. Today, it was the bliss of being out there alone, listening to the wind howling through the trees and the rustling of the weeds as gusts caught their dry leaves. It was the creaking of the old pine tree as it swayed wildly. It was the sound of the river, swollen with winter snow melt, as its muddy waters raced past me. It was the small tufts of green grass sprouting from the bases of their dead predecessors, heralding the fact that spring is just around the corner. It was the deer, filtering from the canyon below me, unaware of my presence as they worked their way across the open flat. It was those same deer, upon a change in the wind direction, suddenly alert and on the lookout for danger. It was my admiration for the instincts of these beautiful animals and amazement at how seamlessly they blended into their surroundings. It was the small antler I found camouflaged among countless branches under the winter skeleton of a tree.

It was the robins and the bluebirds; small bursts of vivid color among the drab browns and grays of winter. It was the fresh bear scat in the middle of the narrow trail I skirted and the anticipation of possibly seeing this newly awakened giant. It was the peace and quiet as the wind died down and the warmth of the sun finally shone through. And it was the liquid song of the meadowlark as it celebrated the end of the storm and the last few moments of daylight.

Every time I go out, whether I am successful in my mission of the day or not, despite any hardship I might encounter, I am rewarded with innumerable awe-inspiring gifts. I feel connected to the forces of nature; I become a part of it. These are things one cannot get from staying at home, watching it on TV or reading it in a book. It is something that must be experienced. For me, it is an addiction. It is as vital to me as eating or breathing. With it, I am whole. Without it, I could not live. I would be empty. This is why I do what I do.

Mar 27, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2


2 comments on “This is Why I Do What I Do

  1. Annie

    You’re an inspiration to all women! I love reading your stories!

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