One With Nature
Out running on my fifth day of experiencing being one with nature, I had a vision of what I was going to do for this post.
I plodded along twin tree-rooted dirt paths. Plodding being the key word here as I hadn’t run in four months. ATV’s had run here before. I’m sure they made quicker work of it than I. Their drivers would have had a different purpose than I however. They were no doubt trying to get somewhere. I, on the other hand, was trying to stay here. Here in this place of serene stillness.
Still and Quiet
Staying at a campground many miles north of doctor appointments, garden weeding, lawn mowing and the many other tedious tasks of the day, I could finally be still and quiet. Yes, I was running, but my being was enjoying a peacefulness. It was an opportunity to think about where I was, where I was going in life, or not to think at all.
The day before I’d taken another peaceful traverse through a little known out of the way place called Houghton Falls. It was so still I could hear every muffled foot step along a pine needle padded path. I knew life was busy all around me here too, but it wasn’t a loud and boisterous business.
There were deep canyons carved by water that once raged through these layers of sandstone, now silenced, except in rainy season. Mushroom cups still held tiny pools of the morning’s dew. These vistas are where I got my ideas for the doodles I’m posting that I jotted down in my travel notebook. I couldn’t resist a little bathroom humor. Nature has it’s daily rituals as do we humans. Each creature has it’s own way of getting up and going.
The morning’s run had gotten me going too. In more ways than one.
Keep Going or Go Back
The first few days of running were sluggish. I had found my rhythm again. I knew I could keep going a little further. My bladder was telling me otherwise, and I knew my husband would be rousing from sleep and anxious to hit the road. There were more hidden wonders to be found around every bend that we’d venture on with our motorcycle. We had a few days left. For a moment I wished we could just keep going, finding new canyons dripping with waterfalls, but I knew I had to go back.
Not that I dislike the daily grind. In fact, I often challenge myself with how well or efficiently I can do each task. There are however, some tasks that seem insurmountable to take on. At times I miss the simplicity of my youthful days growing up on the farm. You planted, you reaped. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
In that seemingly quite forest, ants were hauling bits of leaves, grubs were gnawing away at underground roots and fallen birch branches were eroding away into soil. The Earth is always planning ahead.
If I want a future in writing and illustration I have to be looking ahead down the path to where I want to go.
I literally needed to be doing that on my run as I was making my way back to camp. As my thoughts drifted off into well worded phrases and visions of chipmunks reading the paper, I misjudged the clearness of my path and nearly took a face dive after catching my toe on a tree root.
So much for the stillness of nature.
More Than North Woods Nature
There’s more than just nature in the north woods. There’s beautiful old architecture and some lovely lighthouses to visit.
If you’re looking for some stories and information about lighthouses check out these books by some friends of mine.
Caleb’s Lighthouse, a charming fictional picture book about a young boy’s love of the lighthouse he lived in. https://tracyhelixon.com/my-writing.html
Wisconsin Lighthouses, an historical guide book of Wisconsin Lighthouses with plenty of stories about their keepers, and photographs of lighthouse documents and artifacts. https://www.wisconsinmade.com/wisconsin-lighthouses-revised-book-613/