I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows that follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright - Hawks Shadow

Thursday, May 2, 2024

First Paddle of 2024 - This Feels Great

 Winter has drifted into spring and the temperature is slowly climbing into the "no jacket required" zone.

While winter held sway on the wilderness; I would open the barn door; behind which my prospector canoe hung upside down from the ceiling joists. The canoe seemed to stare at me and ask if it was time to take her down. I would touch her hull and whisper a simple word  "Soon". 

The tracing of snow we received this year; began to melt and the forest started to fill with the sounds of missing friends as they alighted on branches and called out to their mates. 

During this time of seasonal transition, I would wander to the edge of a nearby lake and test the ice which clung to the waters surface as if trying to defy the rising temperatures. 

One of those wanders provided me a green light to take my canoe down; set her up for a new season of paddling; and set off on a short excursion to find the skills which had been dormant for many months. 

The video posted is simply an account of that first paddle of 2024.  

You must remember that as the years slip past us, it leaves us with fewer years remaining to enjoy that which makes our hearts fulfilled. Don't procrastinate doing that which you love to do - just do it; because tomorrow is indeed, just around the corner. 

When the time comes that I can no longer paddle, I will be able to look back at these images and feel what it was to hold the paddle and face the wind and waves as a man of the wilderness. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wild Thoughts

 Winter is hanging up it's apron; soon spring will work its magic and paint the forest with a symphony of green hues. Time is never stationary; it slips by like a ghost in the mist. Many people do not realize just how fast the nights become days and the days turn into nights. Most live their lives thinking of the next event, never stopping to relish the moment in which they presently find themselves. 

Before long, the mirror you look into reflects the image of a person who has the trials and tribulations of life etched across their face, and we are shocked at how fast it all happened. 

These thoughts hit me as I was tracking a wolf which had visited the land upon which I reside. 

This mammal belongs to the sub-species known as the Algonquin Wolf. It's smaller than the well known Timber Wolf and looks similar to a coyote.

The temperature was ten degrees below freezing and the wind was steady from the west, the sky was painted in a deep blue hue with no trace of clouds. 

As I followed in the wake of this amazing predator; I read the story it had left in the snow, along with that of the prey it was following. 
Each paw print was a snapshot of a moment in time. As I turned to look behind me, I noticed that I too; had left snapshots of moments which will never be mine again.

I stopped and stood motionless, my breath was visible as I exhaled into the cold air. The mist would hover around me and disappear until my next breath.  I wondered how many more of these moments will I have before father time calls my name and I pass from the realm of the living, to the great mystery we call death; these thoughts may seem morbid, but anyone who has reached my age has pondered them.  

As I stood there on that late winter day; cocooned in the silence of the forest, pondering the question of mortality; a small bundle of wonderous energy alighted on a branch directly beside my face. The little bird sang out its song  "chick a dee dee dee" whilst starring at me all the while twisting it's head side to side as if wondering what was wrong with me.

The birds little black eyes looked into mine and I saw my reflection, my mind shifted.  
That little bundle of wilderness pulled me from my musings and brought me back to the world of the "Here and Now."

Dusk had turned to night before I decided to leave the trail and head for home. The walk through the darkening forest was tranquil and serein. My feet  seemed to float over the snow as my eyes caught every furtive movement within range. I left the heavy weight of the future behind me and was able to pass through the woods living in the very moment which I found myself in. 

I turned to examine my back trail, and was delighted to see that each track I had left was illuminated by the light of the full moon. 

I understood the power of such a sight; each foot print is indeed a moment in time, and each time that I placed my foot on the ground, I had been present for that very moment and not lost in the worries of time yet to come. 

The future is not written, the past teaches us how to deal with the present. The present is the only time that we truly have. 

It took a Wolf and a Chickadee to re-educate me on how to live in the moment. To feel my feet as they touch the earth; to feel my heart pump life throughout my body and feel the touch of brother cold on my face and hands. 

Life is tough, no question about it. Taking time to live the present moment will help you deal with anything the future may throw at you. Plan for the future, just don't dwell on it. Deal with it when it becomes the present.  

This indeed is a life long struggle. Society is predicated on the procurement of the next best thing. As soon as the present is open, we are taught to look for the next present, not relishing the one that is within our grasp. 

Musings from the wild place I call home. 







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