I am in a field behind my house and with each step, I create more distance from where I was to where I am headed — still a mystery to me.
I am walking and it is the ground that I feel. Frozen in time, the mud holds true. There is a path here and droppings there, and I push through tall weeds to follow something anywhere.
When the door is shut and the truck pulls away, he begins his journey into the woods. Here he lifts himself atop a felled log so that he may see. Here, after he is warmed by a fire by the creek, he swings from a sapling tree and lands across the creek, repeats, repeats again and repeats again, too.
Two years ago when I embarked upon the dynamic idea of featuring local people and personalities and particular interests in the Hillsborough and Northern Orange area, I did so without any particular direction or set-course.
During this time, I have learned, been inspired, discovered, and in less than 1,000 words, attempted to capture the essence of a feature story.
Each of us has our own roots of thanks. This time of year, appreciation is individual and sometimes it takes a moment of awareness to appreciate and remember, and before it is too late, acknowledge.
Through this space, I normally feature people who compose the fabric of a community, locally and perhaps, globally. In recent weeks, it became clear to me that my own community, that of my family, is composed of two threads that have both inspired and served as constant demonstrations of love: my grandmothers.
My hands are snug and tucked and tight, and when there is noise beyond, my palm grips hold of my bow and the cold air tightens and I feel the exposure and am reminded of the cold.
Jason Hawkins outdoors column
I could have driven along these woods. I could have used the off-road vehicle and navigated this path. Yet, it felt appropriate to walk. It felt authentic to step over sticks. There was something natural about my gait and the melodic repetition of my feet in the soft mud.
It was one of those days that seem to only happen once in awhile, and where the day had begun in silence, was now ending with an audible infiltrate, which seemed to spread from this tree stand to the noticeably empty hills below.
Where soft steps and the slosh of moist grass moved the hunter from ground to tree, it is the sun that moves the spirit of the hunter, even if steps are never taken.
I encourage discovery and independence in the outdoors for my two boys.
The naked light bulb is silently persuaded by what remains of an overnight wind. He stands by the screen door, and his left hand lingers along the switch panel. It is 5:30 a.m., and he is up and dressed as one cup of coffee is being followed by a second on the last Saturday of the summer. His knees are one season older, and his eyesight is another sunrise weaker.
We had walked through the knee-high grass toward the stretching moon with darkness chasing us. Instead of leading this subtle charge up the hill, which rises from west to east, I was following. In front of me and below me was a properly fearless 7-year old whose hands I know well. His eyes are stoic and absorbing, and his lips are pursed just so.