Skip to main content

Last Day

Two hours before sundown, I found a place to sit among the trees, one last time to hunt for deer. I made myself a rock or stump, and soon I was forgotten. The woods slowly resumed business once more, and I'm only part of a tree, a protrusion of the leafy forest floor. That was until two sharp- eyed squirrels saw me wipe my nose, then they made a point of alerting everyone else of my presence. The pair cried and scolded me until they were certain I wasn't a threat, which took a half hour for them to determine.

Moments later, a nosy finch landed on the tip of my arrow, and watched for my reaction. His beady eyes pried my every feature, trying to figure out if I was alive, or dead, but I remained stone still. To shew him away would've been a sin, so I allowed him to remain there, keeping me honest. The loud rustle of leaves on the hillside quickened my pulse, and the tiny bird flitted away. I watched patiently but couldn't see anything from where I was. Probably those same noisy squirrels, I figured. With only thirty minutes of daylight left, the realization that it was over for this year sank in.

My days will soon be filled with other activities, and I'll start counting the days until next autumn. I shouldn't complain, there are many who would love to just sit in the woods and watch the sun go down through the trees, but their health wouldn't let them. In that moment, I whispered a word of thanks.

Light fades fast in this valley, so I gathered my things. I slid my arrow back into its quiver, and stood in the darkness, peering into the canopy at the tops of trees stretching toward the evening sky, content.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Survival: For Real

In my library, I have several books on foraging and survival skills. One of my favorites is Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart. There are many guides of edible and medicinal plants, water purification, and magazine articles on shelter building skills. But having all of this information at my fingertips doesn't do me any good if I don't get my hands dirty from time to time, practicing these skills. Not only does it make me feel more confident in the woods, but it is a lot of fun, too.I would like to think that if I had to, I could survive and provide for my family from the woods and waters around here. I could probably kill plenty of squirrels or catch enough fish to feed us for a little while, but it would be a full time job, especially with a wife and kids.On The Fourth of July, though, I witnessed something that gave me a whole new perspective on survival-- actually watching someone having to forage for food on the streets of Greenville. This is what I like to call A Ch…

A Letter To My Father

Two years ago, this very night, you were still here among the living. You had no idea of what was to come in the early hours of the morning, but I know you had some inkling. You'd been talking about it for a while, and the Sunday before, I was told that you 'd made things right.Your mind and body were weak from fighting to hold onto your spirit, but your spirit was so much stronger, and it was determined to be set free. Your pain would soon be over, but you liked to fight, always did. You were the most stubborn human being that I have ever known, and I know that at the end, you were no different. I'm sure it wasn't your choice to go, despite all those times you cried, saying you wanted to die and be put out of your misery. When the medics had worked so long on you and decided to give up on you, your heart started back beating, as if out of spite.  I wonder sometimes what those last few hours were like for you. I wish I could've been there for you, like all the time…

After Dark

I stayed up way too late last night. Chase called on his way home from work and told me that we were going catfishing. That's usually how things like this begin.

My brand new son- in- law Bryan was going too, although my daughter wasn't crazy about the idea. No worries though, she would stay at our house and await his return. She ended up asleep on my side of the bed until we got back. Apparently, their agreed upon curfew was 11:30, and he did his best to keep it despite Chase's nudging him to stay longer. My son has no concept of time when it comes to fish, whether they are biting or not.

So there we stood in the dark, on a bridge that crosses the Tyger  River. Every creature that flies or creepeth upon the ground was out. The noise from insects and frogs in the surrounding swamp was deafening. Chase was our catfish guide. He'd brought all the rods, bait and any tackle we might need. Chase's bait of choice was chunks of chicken breast marinated in his secret formu…