The Call of the Wild, Part 1

Artemis in the WoodsSince I began even thinking about walking with Artemis, I’ve been feeling the urge to go spend some time in nature. It is something that calms me and grounds me anyway, but this urge is for more than just a walk in the woods.

I had thought I might make some time to go sit in the woods near my home this past week. That was before my entire family took turns being sick with the flu – including me!

So I had to content myself with a memory of another time when I went and just sat in nature. I was taking Wes Gietz‘s Coyote Mentoring course. It was an evening in late spring, and Wes had brought us to one of his favorite “sit spots”.

After some practice fox walking and seeing with owl eyes, we spread out on the edge of a pond that a family of ducks frequented. I remember that it was dusk, early twilight as the sun was beginning to set. We carefully and quietly walked through the woods and found the pond. Slowly we spread out around the edge to sit, and just be.

For the first few minutes, it was pretty quiet, because even though we did our best to be slow and silent, the birds and animals all knew we were there, and none of the rest of us were quite as silent as Wes!

Then, as we sat still, the world around us began to wake up once more. I noticed insects crawling in the grass, and buzzing about over my head. A sapsucker flew low over my head several times, going from tree to tree in a triangle around me looking for its evening meal.

My most anxious moment was when I heard something coming towards me in the undergrowth. I turned my head in its direction ever so slowly, to appear as if I was not moving at all. I scanned the grass around me, trying to figure out what it was, without alerting it to my presence.

It was small, completely hidden by the grass and plants. I watched, and waited, a little nervous, but also enjoying the anticipation and wonder of the moment. It was coming directly at me, whatever this small creature was. Finally, I saw a small vole appear near me. It kept on, either unaware or accepting my presence as no threat. My feet were flat on the ground in front of me, and my arms were around my bent knees. It went directly under my upraised knees, and then disappeared.

I must have been sitting right above its hole, though thankfully not directly on top of it! I can still feel the awe of that moment, when I was able to observe the natural world around me without disrupting it by my presence.

That is the call I am feeling – to go and sit in nature, to observe and just to be, without any other purpose than the observation and the experience. I will be on the lookout for an opportunity in my schedule to find my own “sit spot” this week!



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