My photo this morning is of an old-two track road that I pass each morning as I’m heading out from my cabin and off to work. The road heads west, down off the mountain and into the valley between Roundtop and the mountains in the distance. It is a trail I often hike, and the morning light tempted me again this morning, though the need to continue on to work (and the chill wind) kept me from yielding.
A stream runs through the valley, which is blessedly forested, with no access to it other than by foot or perhaps mountain bikes. No roads, except for this one, cut through it until you reach the base of the next mountain over (here shadowed behind the closer trees). And beyond that road are no others until you reach the far side of the mountains. There, farmlands and houses replace the forest.
But from here to there, the forest is still a forest—untrimmed, unmanaged and wonderfully unkempt. It lures me down into it, again and again. Even now, as I look at the photo, I am drawn to it, as surely as the sirens of myth drew sailors.
How is it that I can be so entranced by what lies further along this path, when so many others see only timber or potential housing lots or perhaps, simply nothing beautiful or interesting about it? Am I just a dinosaur in this modern world? The rest of humanity, perhaps, has moved on, while I am left behind, trying to live a life that others willingly abandon. I am the like the deer in a development’s cul-de-sac, maybe, trying to eke out a living on backyard grass where once a field stretched before me. Perhaps I am the last bear at a garbage can, where once I found honey in a tree. Perhaps I am a wolf, long gone from these woods, howling at the moon.