I first read that line in a western written by Louis L’Amour, Bendigo Shafter. It was the hero of the book taking a young teen in search of trees to build a log cabin. The kid just wanted to cut down the first one he came to. Telling him that made him stop and listen to the forest, in essence appreciate the nature around them.
This came to mind today as I was chatting with my mom about bigfoot…
Now for some families this may seem strange. How many of you discuss bigfoot? But for my family, having been raised in the Northwest and having spent countless hours in the wilds of our forests its normal. My mom and kid brother are believers. Our conversation revolved around a favorite camp site of ours when I was a kid.
This is prime bigfoot country! Mom was convinced every time we were there that there was something watching us. As I have gotten older, and with the age of abundant cell phone cameras and go pros. my belief in the hairy guy has dwindled.
However, this does not diminish my belief that the forests are alive and can talk you. Some of the most accessible trails can take you back in time of the history, here you see one of the thousands of old growth stumps (with the notches the lumberjacks used to cut down the trees)
It is sad that there are very few of these full-sized trees around anymore (there are some though) but there is no way you stop nature from coming back. These stumps are feeding new trees, and given time they will be just as big!
I have heard people say the roots of these are creepy, but its part of the forest healing itself. This healing can give you a natural energy boost if you let it. Trees breathe out pure oxygen. I’ve always thought this is one of the big reasons that I always felt much better after hike, or just being in the woods.
People outside of the northwest wonder how we up here can think there could possibly be a bunch of hairy bigger than life creatures living where no one can see them. Those that wonder that just have no idea how big our wilderness is up here. We have two huge areas of wilderness, the Olympics:
These two areas stretch for hundreds of miles. There are deer, elk, black bears, wolves, cougars and even visiting grizzlies. You can travel for days and see no sign of anything more than squirrels and birds, but, those who are patient and very will see more. In all my time I’ve only seen a bear twice, and never once a (non WSU) cougar in the wild.
With this much room, most of which is very rarely visited, is it impossible some timid, but semi-intelligent giant creature is able to hide from people? Nope, but as the range gets smaller, I would think there’d be more instead of less sighting nowadays.
But I am here to tell you, if you give a chance, you will hear the trees breathe, and feel the life of the forest around you. It will heal you when you are hurtin, make you smile when you are sad, inspire you when you are out of gas, and make you feel alive no matter what you are feeling otherwise. It will only do this, though, if you let it. Smell, listen, see, feel and even taste the air and your surrondings. Let all 5 senses come alive and you will be a different person.
And for the luva gawd, leave the earbuds at home and the music turned off!
And I may be biased, but there is not better place to experience nature than the northwest! If you get a chance try it!