Enjoying the gift a new day outdoors

Apr. 12, 2013 @ 05:57 PM

If I could describe the witnessing of darkness becoming light, it would be a careful unwrapping of a surprise gift.
In the quiet of a new day, darkness retreats and daylight dances and all is right in the world when we see this.
I sometimes believe that we hunters are lucky that we experience intricacies of our world that even our best attempts at description are not adequate. Others, I am sure would use expressions other than lucky, but for this writer seeing the sun rise is good and lucky all at once.
Though I have pursued game, fish and dreams in my life outdoors, I believe the chase of a wild turkey epitomizes all that is poetic about hunting, being a witness and being lucky enough to see the world evolve on a warm spring morning from darkness to light.
Often when I am found lingering amongst the shadows, I embrace the idea that I am a small being in a much larger world than I could ever imagine.
Darkness does that to a person. In the spring woods, darkness is an ally like a curtain that is hiding a stage of actors and set props, and we are ticket holders to the greatest show in nature, known as an awakening.
There always is something moving about in the woods. These witnesses to awakening are late arrivers, and they scamper about and every step of an opossum sounds like a hungry, sharp-toothed critter that growls, purrs and howls.
Among a choir of birds and pairs of birds, someone must make the first sound. Someone must be bold, loud and strike a chord or sing of something that doesn’t make sense to a person.
Even when it is dark and the world around is quiet, an early bird chirps. Worms must be frightened now, and they must move and hide for the early birds are in search and where there is one bird that is brave, soon another and another and then it happens.
All of the steps to this place were quiet. Every stick was stepped over, every obstacle averted. All noises, rattles, shakes and sounds that were not made by brave birds and sneaking opossums were avoided.
The sun has not yet risen fully, yet there is enough light to show the fog in the low spot of this field. There is dew, and the birds that were chirping and playfully singing have been overshadowed by a mature, gobbling turkey. That first sound he makes from his perch is special and pure, and all those sticks were worth every step.
Then there is another. The curtain is rising and light is emitting, and down the way there is another gobbler, then another and another.
Everything is unplanned and suddenly unnerved.
Suddenly, yet in a slowly evolving motion, the unwrapping of darkness is now card, bow, ribbon, tape, paper and tissue paper.
It is all around you, and the gift is the awakening of the new day with singing, chorusing, gobbling and all of this for those that are lucky.
There is no way in which the day should evolve from this moment. There is no script. Sure, there are hopes, anticipation and a continued desire for luck.
Yet as the moments become minutes and as the way of the turkey toys and teases, there is a moment to pause.
When we as hunters and humans pause, good things happen that have nothing to do with luck. Upon pausing, we think about steps we took. Upon pausing, we think about the path to this place.
And upon pausing, we think about darkness, brave birds and the disappearance of shadows. Though a bird is gobbling nearby, we think about darkness and awakening and a gift expected and unexpected, too.
Enjoy your time outdoors.

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