I live in a small town, this town in located on a big lake and most everyone either lives on the waterfront or else on the mountainside. I live on the mountainside so not only is the town surrounded by the forest but where my back yard ends the forest begins... or it is all overlapping really. I grew up here but left to find work in the city for quite a few years. I have always loved this community that I never stopped calling home and I moved back a little less then a year ago. I was immediately happy when I moved back but wanted to take some time before I wrote about it. I wanted to make sure that my feelings were long lasting, I wanted to get out of the 'honeymoon' phase and give myself some time to process - but I feel the same. I feel like my life is so much more rich with what is truly important.
I feel so much more deeply connected to the rest of the planet.
It is amazing how quickly the city can disconnect you from nature and therefore disconnect you from a much bigger picture. It is so easy in the city to get lost in the hustle and bustle, not only that but to forget what lies beyond the confines of concrete. I mean sure you can watch a documentary about birds, or sharks but to step into their world you truly realize that we are living amongst these amazing creatures. Last night as I was driving home from work there was a herd of Elk on the road, I stopped - well of course I did they're friggin' huge! I watched them for quite some time, they were in a big grassy yard just on the side of the road, I saw 2 bulls fighting, I saw Mama Cows standing aside with their calves, and the rest of the herd which I counted out to be 22 in total grazing away on the cool grass. When you witness such an event it really makes you feel rather insignificant. Like you are a small part of something much bigger, a much bigger picture which is truly amazing.
In the city you are the strongest link on the food chain, but when you walk through the woods and see these huge creatures, or when you go outside and there is a huge bear in your yard, or you catch a glimpse of the ever illusive cougar you realize that you are rather low on the food chain and it really brings everything in perspective. You realize that you aren't the 'something' you are only a part of something. (And if you have ever been into a bar in the city you will see that there are many people who have not learned this lesson - lol!)
This knowledge is not only truly humbling but also I find it rather comforting. There is a certain feeling that you get when walking along a stream, when you realize that this stream is connected to a river and that river flows to the Ocean creating an amazing network that connects all of the worlds water, it makes you feel connected to this amazing planet in a way that nothing else can.
I am so glad that I have this connection to nature, and I encourage you all to find a deeper connection that you may already have.