Friday, February 16, 2007

10,000 Steps

Every day I walk a little or a lot, mostly a lot. When I'm not walking on my land, most of my walking is on a 1/2 mile stretch of road in front of the house, back and forth.

I can see far and wide, near and small. I pass through mature second growth oak/fir forest(second growth because of the annual fires set for a few thousand years by the native americans, but now aging into old growth), young fir replanting at different ages, dry banks and wet dark permanent tree shadow. I can see clear cuts, mature second growth, new replanting, selective cuts, and the tips of a secret BLM patch of gigantic old growth trees. I watch for wildflowers sprouting and blooming. I listen to birds and watch them fly into the west in courtship or soaring thermals. I see where the sun sets each night as it travels across the horizon through the year. At one end stands a lone old growth doug fir with a 8' dbh(I named it Treebeard), at the other end is a long vista through a slot in the repeating hills. I walk in cold, hot, ice, sun, and even rain, and watch weather roll overhead.

I keep a log of miles, if only to imagine when I've walked to Alaska, or Patagonia. Since the fall of 2004 I've walked 1508 miles on this 1/2 mile stretch, worn out two pairs of boots. Barry Lopez sums it up pretty well for me, below.

“Whatever evaluation we finally make of a stretch of land, however, no matter how profound or accurate, we will find it inadequate. The land retains an identity of its own, still deeper and more subtle than we can ever know. Our obligation toward it then becomes simple: to approach with an uncalculating mind, with an attitude of regard. To try to sense the range and variety of its expression--its weather and colors and animals. To intend from the beginning to preserve some of the mystery within it as a kind of wisdom to be experienced, not questioned. And to be alert for its openings, for that moment when something sacred reveals itself within the mundane, and you know

the land knows you are there.”
--Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams, p 204


cyndy said...

Wow! That is great that you keep a log of miles! (and worn out boots!)

I looked for and email address to answer the questions you left on my blog, but didn't find one, so I will answer here....

about the Yak Tracks...yes, I find that they work very well. Even on a surface of ice, they provide some grip. (however, on a ceramic floor indoors, watch out, you can slip!)

.....and my camera is a Kodak z740 ...with a built in zoom...

wyldthang said...

Hi Cyndy, thanks for getting back. I'll have to get some Yak Traks. The only reason I would ever buy olf shoes would be to walk on ice ;0)

wyldthang said...

oops I mean GOLF shoes

Bitterroot said...

This is very inspiring. Makes me want to drop everything and get outside. Please keep describing the world around you. Thank you, Celeste.