“There are some people who can live without wild things and some who cannot”.
(Aldo Leopold, the late conservationist of Wisconsin)
I, for one, am one of those people who cannot!
There is a calling; a pulling of sorts; to my inner being. There is an internal conflict between my soul and the realities of this world.
My soul is crying out saying “Run to the call of the wild; be free!”, even as the realities of the world are trying to cage me and tame my spirit.
The wilderness is where a man’s heart calls home.
It is a very special place for his un-bridled spirit. There are many things that bring me true happiness; those that only Mother Nature can provide. These are great things like the cackle of a startled pheasant, the springtime mating call of the wild turkey, or the crunch-pause-crunch of a whitetail deer on a frosty November morning.
Things like the flush of a covey of quail, the evening song of a Whip-poor-wills. The rhythmic sound of a ruffed grouse drumming as the sun warms him and dries the morning dew from his wings.
There is the smell of sulfur and gunpowder on opening day of gun season, the taste of a sweet ripe blackberry.
I find comfort in the smell of a dry log on the campfire, and the sweet smell of magnolias. There is the “twang” of a bowstring, the pig-like grunting of a buck in rut. My ears love hearing the “coo” of a morning dove or the “hoot” of the grey horned owl to the irritating barking of a disturbed gray squirrel, to the sight of a bird dog on point.
I cannot live without these things!
The sights, sounds, and smells of nature…These are what keeps me wild at heart. I can only hope and pray that my two sons will learn to love and experience all these great things as well.
Moreover, when nature calls that they too will answer…and think of me.