|Hazy morning in July|
Last night distant lightning kept me awake for about half of the night. The storm never got close enough to the cabin for me to hear the thunder, even in the near-perfect silence of a still summer forest. Because I couldn’t hear the thunder, I know the storm was at least 10 miles away. That distance didn’t stop the sharp and very bright lightning flashes from lighting up the forest, though.
I could have closed the curtains on the big picture windows that line the entire north wall of my bedroom, but the only time I do that (and then reluctantly) is on very cold winter nights, those that fall well below zero. If I didn’t want to see the forest at all hours of the day and night, I wouldn’t live here. And despite the occasional lack of sleep, watching the lightning skitter through the trees and turn the forest momentarily as bright as noontime at 3 a.m. is a pleasure in itself, something I am lucky to be able to experience.
I am well aware that my experience of living in the woods isn’t the norm in this modern world, especially here in the eastern U.S. So I want to soak up as much of it as I can, take it into me like my next breath, so that the woods and I become as nearly close to one as possible. I have always felt the forest to be a living thing of its own—all its parts, all the bugs and different plants and trees and animals contributing to a single one thing, the forest. To me, the forest is a holy place, a wholly living and breathing entity. It’s a pure place, in a world made impure, often, by we humans who inhabit it. Here is where I can experience life as perfectly as the earth created it. Why would I close the curtains?