November 4, 2016

Worshiping In The Woods

“I’ve decided I’m going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty is just too good to pass up.”
- Christopher Mccandless

I pulled a Henry David Thoreau this summer and spent most of my free time in the woods. During my break from writing I stepped into the forest and promptly forgot, for a time, all about the artificial, complicated world outside.

This life-long student of nature entered the wild to confront the essential facts of life. Each time I set out I wondered what I would learn from these woods, because I am enriched every time I visit.

When I approached nature with humility, the wildlife and I see each other. I explore and the crows and ravens keep me company. They remind me to always be aware of both the laws and magic of the natural world.

Spending time in wilderness, sometimes immersed for days at at time, is something I have always done. I continue that tradition here in the beauty of our new home in Nova Scotia.

Over the years the wild has taught me to live "so sturdily and Spartan-like" as to cut out much of the allure, and distraction, of mainstream life. What is left is the marrow, and it continually calls to me to come and worship and learn.

Like Henry, I can never have enough of nature. That, and kindness, is my religion.

"Open yourself to miracles. Use new eyes. Believe in magic. Embrace life’s wonders." 
- Jamie Sams and David Carson


  1. Anonymous11/04/2016

    Less is more, the natural world has it's own rhythm, slower than our virtual reality. When I go with nature things feel right in a physical way, no worries and no rushing. Nature doesn't rush for late summer, for the harvest. Winter comes and goes.
    I now unplug myself from the consumer world. I wonder what must have felt like to view and live in nature without distractions. This is such a wonderful way to live, once you get past all cravings for the imaginary world. We eat a simple diet based on the Chan monastic tradition and this helps to reduce the craving.
    Love the photos, found myself just looking at trees the other day and the falling leaves, isn't this planet amazing.

  2. Anonymous11/05/2016

    Beautiful pictures, really nice place!
    It is great to have woods near your house isn't it? I am looking forward to my jog in the woods on the weekends. I would like to go there every day but by the time when I come home it is already dark in this time of the year. Maybe in some years I will be also able to live simpler life with less anticipation in this crazy and super-fast mainstream way of life and be in the woods every day. I am doing everything I can to reach that as soon as possible and your posts encourage me that this is the right thing to do. Thank you! Mitja

  3. You were/are among good company with the ravens and crows. I love them both. There is a family of crows in the back yard of where I am working now, a house I am painting. I take breaks and go outside, stand and watch the crows. They are very social, entertaining too!

    I've taken on another temporary job and it is in an office building that has very few windows, none in the large main room. After being there about 3 hours, I announced I need to go outside for a few minutes. I need to see some trees. My comment wasn't premeditated, it just popped out. People laughed but I don't think it occurs to them that they are seeing NO GREEN, NO NATURE during the many hours they spend in that office. As soon as I walked out the door, I was better. Trees everywhere. I appreciated them being there, reviving me.

    Forests are special places. Beautiful pictures. Your story makes me feel peaceful.

    1. Anonymous11/06/2016

      Hi Terri,
      Interesting point about offices, it would be nice for each office to have Peace garden or Zen garden for contemplation. Mindfulness and meditation groups would be good too. Some US companies are also bringing in plant based diet consultants as well.

    2. Thanks Alex. So true. Yes, a few offices/companies are coming around. Change can't happen fast enough.

  4. P.S. My religion is out there too.

  5. Anonymous11/07/2016

    The crows (who have so graciously allowed me to live in their space) are an endless source of entertainment for me. I love how they start the morning on the roof right above my bed and call to one another.

    As always thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures. I miss being out there!

  6. Ah Miss Marla, Welcome back! I've missed you!
    Yeah, something about those crows, isn't there? Love them too!


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