The Timber Men. The burly men. The axe and chainsaw wielding men. The arbiters of a healthy forest.They prune and lift and fell when needed, like surgeons with their trusty tools.
At times they climb trees like Spiderman with their lengthy webs of rope. Just a little bit slower, and a lot more cautious. they face danger without much pause.
Determined, they continue their dance towards the top.
Like Goliath, they possess a super human strength…
Whatever is taken, is given back , in order to enrich the cycle of life…
The Timber Men. The burly men. The axe and chainsaw wielding men. The super heroes of a sustainable forest.
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I just spent ten glorious days “lost” in the woods of North Idaho. This was my first vacation in over two years since dealing with West Nile Virus and then treatment for skin cancer. It felt so good to get far away from the house that had become my hermit’s cave and sanctuary during my illness and treatment. The beauty that surrounded me in Idaho seemed magnified tenfold and I couldn’t stop exclaiming “It’s so pretty here!” As those who have read my book “Zen in the Garden” know, I have always found peace and healing through nature. Following my recent struggles, that desire to reconnect with the earth for a bit of healing has been foremost on my mind.
It was so nice to sit in a quiet place void of the noise pollution of an urban environment for hours at a time. The sound of birdsong and of the wind as it rustled through the pines created the perfect symphony for my tired soul. Each day I could feel my body relax even more than the day before as the stressors of everyday life became nothing more than a fading shadow inside my reawakened mind. I felt present. Mindful. Embraced by what truly matters in this life. I felt alive and happy as I touched the earth and opened my eyes to its simple yet elegant gifts.
As we wandered the woods that surrounded our little log cabin I knew without a doubt that this was where I belonged. It all seemed so familiar to me. It was as if a piece of myself had spent my entire life wandering under that beautiful, peaceful canopy while the other parts had struggled to exist in the chaos of a world quite foreign to my soul. My childhood was spent in an environment similar to this place but I chose to leave it at the age of 18 to pursue a college degree and make my way out in the “real” world. That world has proven to be both rewarding and cruel. I have often felt myself struggle to fit in when my heart keeps telling me to run back into the woods where I belong.
This trip into the woods healed me in more ways than I can explain with words. It brought me peace and it brought me hope. It provided me with a renewed sense of motivation. The wheels are now in motion to make my way back into the woods for good where I can embrace nature for the remainder of my life. No matter how long it takes to reach that goal, I now know it is going to happen. I can’t wait…
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©Tracy J. Thomas, 2010.
Photo: 1950 International L50, Moscow, Idaho.
There she sat in a crumbling garage as if standing guard over the old abandoned farm. Rusted metal, faded paint, and sagging bumpers; I could only imagine how sexy she must have been in her day. Worn out and tired, she was dressed like an old country gal with her mudflaps on and wooden flatbed at her back. I stood there admiring her last stand. The hands of time and neglect had left her exposed to harsh elements; though she had weathered well considering. She was a true classic. The roomy cab that had sheltered her once adoring farmer smelled of engine oil, chewing tobacco, and a slight trace of hay. I wondered if she ever thought of him as she peered out from her stall. Waiting. Time passing. But he fails to come again. As I looked through her shattered windshield I could only imagine all the things that she had witnessed in her time. Oh the weight she must have carried on her back. The bumpy roads. The endless miles on her well-worn tread. Up before dawn, her engine would purr even in the harshest of winters. She had a job to do and she must have done it well. This tired old truck with her right eye gone and broken axle in the back had earned her time to rest.