November 24, 2018

There Is Nothing To Buy In Nature

Definitely not shopping.

Breaking News: 'Not Buying Anything' Blogger Seen Shopping On Buy Nothing Day

Hey, I just fake news-ed myself.

In reality, I did not go shopping on Buy Nothing Day. I went for a hike instead, and what could be better than that on this special day? In nature, even though there is infinite value all around, there is nothing to buy here. 

I took advantage of a recent snowfall to enjoy my first snowshoe of the season. Conditions were generally excellent for an early season excursion.

My usual route traverses an old mixed forest along an old logging track, and then drops down to the brook at the bottom of the valley.

It is very quiet alongside the brook, the loudest thing being the water gushing and gurgling to the sea, which is about 4 km away as the raven flies. 

When the water is high after big rains or heavy snow melts, you can hear large rocks and boulders being swept along the brook bottom; rock drums tumbling out an irregular beat.

From the brook it is up all the way to home. This time of year I am often racing the sunset to get back before dark. It has a way of motivating me to a swift ascent up the forest cloaked slope.

But I never move so fast that I can't stop for neat stuff. I pause to listen to a trickle of water coming down the hillside. The sound is trance inducing, and focuses me into a spontaneous nature meditation. 

I press on, moving through puffy, deep snow. It is very forgiving, and the hiking is easy. I always use hiking poles, so I feel like a four-legged forest creature, sure-footed and comfortable in this environment.

Just before I get home, near the top of the hillside, I pass through a spruce forest. It is the proverbial "deep, dark forest" found in all kinds of scary stories. But the only tracks I see were left by bunnies and squirrels. 

In here, most of the snow is in the canopy above, not on the ground below. There is just enough to get me and my snowshoes through successfully... before a troll (not the Internet kind) gets me.

While making my way through the spruce labyrinth, I hear two ravens conversing in the distance. Some believe that ravens guide travellers to their destination. 

Indeed, I can see through the trees that I am just about home. 

My hike yielded plenty of value, but I didn't have to buy anything. That is the real news.


  1. Anonymous11/25/2018

    I love this!

  2. How wonderful and peaceful! And infinitely better than loud black Friday ads or obnoxious tweets.

    1. Yes, I left all my devices at home. Except my camera, and sometimes I leave that at home, too, so I can enjoy an agenda-free outdoor experience.

  3. Anonymous11/25/2018

    Brilliant, Gregg. I am always astonished by the beauty on your doorstep. Not sure if the video was meant to play or just there for the photo?


    1. We are amazed at how, by mostly just wandering across the country and letting the Universe take its course, we managed to move from one beautiful place to another. This definitely is as amazing as our previous area was on the west coast.

      I took the video with my camera (which I got for free with rewards points), and have had it now for over a decade. The quality could be better, but it is good enough for my purposes. When this one breaks down, I will consider getting another one... on rewards points, hopefully.

      The video quality is a bit better than the picture quality, but the best thing about it (as Terri pointed out below) is the sound. Turn it on, turn it up, and enjoy!

  4. OMG! This is just about my all time favorite post here on NBA! You are most definitely in "your element." Wonderful the snow has returned. You are getting good with technology! Now look, a self portrait! The recording instantly put me into a meditation! It was like soft drums beating as the water gurgled through rocks and fallen trees under a blanket of snow. SO wonderful!
    Yes Madeleine, the video is supposed to play. I hope you can hear it. It is wonderfulness!
    Thanks for this one Gregg! I bet Linda enjoyed seeing and hearing this too! Hello to both of you!


    1. Wow. That is saying a lot considering how long you have been with us. That is funny you mention the self-portrait. I hung my camera off a tree branch, and set the 10 second timer. After I pressed the shutter, I had to still the swinging camera, then boogy my butt to get into an advantageous position. So I guess the tree deserves the photo credit.

      The snow started to melt the next day, and now it is just about gone, except on my garden where I am about to go out and retrieve the remaining carrots, potatoes, and kale. The storm and early freezing weather caught us unawares. Haven't even planted the garlic yet, which I planted on December 1st last year.

      You are so right about Linda enjoying the photos and video that I capture on my outdoor excursions. She loves it a lot. She encouraged me to share the video on this post as I had decided it wasn't good enough for publication. "No", she said, "you need to share that with your readers." I am glad I did.

    2. Always enjoy Linda's input. Her counsel to me a couple of years ago was to, "Think outisde of the box." Just what I needed to hear at the time. It continues to cross my mind from time to time. She was absolutely correct to advise you to post the video!! A new motto to live by for me is "good enough." Being a perfectionist has caused me problems. Good enough has eased things for me. The video is well above my "good enough" standard. Enjoy those late harvest vegetables!

  5. Anonymous11/27/2018

    Thanks Gregg and Terri. For some reason the video was disabled the first time I tried to play it but today it worked. Loved it!



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