Sometimes I look at the pictures I’ve taken out in the woods and think, “I spend too much time in the trees. I’ve got too may shots of them. It’s getting boring. No one will want to see them.” Which may be true, if I’m being honest.
But the past few weeks I’ve been worn down dealing with people. I want nothing more than to be away from them, among the trees.
Dealing with people is sometimes a lot of bad noise. Dealing with trees is nothing but the pleasant sound of the wind through pine boughs. Being among people is the smell of pine bathroom cleaner or a car air freshener. Being among trees is the actual smell of pines.
I listened to a podcast a few weeks ago, The American History Guys podcast “BackStory.” It was about he state of wilderness in America. They made many points, but the one I liked best was the idea of “pristine” wilderness.
There really isn’t any “pristine” wilderness. There probably never was much of it. The idea was brought about by settlers running in to areas where there were no Europeans and deciding that meant it was untouched by human hands. Truth is, the Native Americans had been there for a long time by the time we got there. And now, the pollution the cities put in to the air and water reaches far back in to wilds, contaminating it. The idea of an untouched wilderness is one that doesn’t mesh with reality. But there is such a thing as “untrammeled” wilderness, where it hasn’t been crushed underfoot by humanity.
I like the untrammeled parts of the country. I prefer to go out and be among the trees there, away from people. I seem to have a deep seated need to do that, and recharge.
I don’t think I’ll get to spend time among the trees this weekend, as I’m staying in Denver to take a class, and that is OK. They’ll be there waiting for me the next chance I have to go out and visit them.
I’ll have something interesting to report from this class, hopefully. Then I’ll return you to the regularly scheduled allotment of trees.