Hunter glad to be boxed in small outdoor spaces

Oct. 21, 2013 @ 09:04 PM

As best I can determine, where I am sitting, the platform measures 44 inches across and 26 inches deep. 

Here I am, 20 feet off the ground, and I am inside the confines of a blind and the world all around me is immeasurable, complicated and consistently unpredictable.

From inside this small space, I am wearing a hunting hat, a hunting shirt and hunting boots. I tote a hunting pack, and in my pocket I possess a license to hunt.

Before arriving to this confined space, attached to a tree, in the shadows of a world that is all things large and pulses with inconsistencies, I walked away from lists, to-dos, need-to-dos, ought-to-dos, and a litany of crossroad decisions that are native to most humans.

There is noise to my right, and even though I am already hushed, I remind myself to hush, and after a few moments there is silence and the things I need to do, ought to do, and should do begin to creep back into focus.

There is nothing holding me here. There are no requirements for how long I should stay, and why. The rules are not written as to when a hunt must end. For all I know, there is no audience.

Lingering within the pause of sounds and sights and routines of the outdoors, I focus on a tree and the color of the grass below. A bird sings and flickers about. The squirrels are indulging upon acorns and a leaf falls, then another and another, and I begin to count leaves and birds and squirrels and I cannot think about crossroads. The sky is the color of a gentle rain, and I cannot remember ought-to and should-do.

There is noise, again, and I hush, again, and the noise dissipates down the hill, as noise sometimes does. Somehow, I forget about my list. I adjust my hunting hat and shift inside my hunting shirt and that which concerns me somewhere else in this world, that is immeasurable and confusing appropriately becomes less of a concern.

There is the absurdity of the setting sun and darkness encroaches, and from inside this confined space in the skeleton of a large expanse of woods I find resolution.

As it goes, I did not accomplish much, here. No game became a harvest and not one box on any list was checked.

Covered in darkness, I descended this space and stepped, again, upon this earth. Along the familiar path to home, I thought of lists and what I should do and need to do and what I need to do next. The world is unpredictable. The space where I sat was measured in inches, and the lists I keep are sometimes numbered.

Within my hunting boots, I hunted. Within this small space, that which seems great is reduced from the confined space of a predictable, hunting blind.

Enjoy your time outdoors.

You may reach Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.