I had a heavy chest this morning. So I pulled on my winter boots and toque and headed out the door with our dog Blue. Getting out into nature has become a haven for me in chaos of life. It’s a place where I have found my thoughts to slow and I find some inner peace. As I set out his morning the sun was minutes away from waking up. The sky a mixture of beautiful pastels of soft pink and orange. The air crisp and clean. Frost clinging to every branch of every tree. Snow covered fields and bush surround me. The path on which I walked is made of nicely packed snow along the tree line. Although I found some peace this morning was different than usual. Ironically this place that brings me peace is the very reason I’m seeking it’s presence this morning. The threat of the clearing of this wilderness looms with the heavy equipment I can hear clearing sections of forest that has become a place of calm for me.
My husband Josh and I purchased almost 10 acres 8 years ago. Our peace of paradise lies between two sections of trees. The area surrounding is a mixture of farmland and what we call “bush”. We have visited this place frequently for years but were finally able to build a home here two years ago. The opportunity presented to purchase the land around us about 3 years ago but it was pipe dream outside our means. We speak frequently of asking the farmer to subdivide the property just to the east of us, a few more acres of this sacred land we have come to enjoy. Alas, we were enjoying our surroundings without the formality of owning it so we laid low. An act I have come to regret.
A little more than a week ago my phone rang. The farmer calling to let us know that he would be clearing trees to expand his ability to farm the land covered in bush. As he is explaining to me my mind racing so quickly. Was I understanding him correctly?? Is he really clearing the bits of forest out our back door? Mixed with emotions of frustration and confusion some gratitude surfaced that he was leaving some trees to the south of us that provides us with some coverage. With a heavy heart I thanked him for what he was leaving and asked he explain his plans to my husband Josh. His plans didn’t seem comprehensible, I was partially convinced that I was not understanding him correctly.
I handed the phone to my husband Josh. I sat on the edge of the bed beside him as he heard the news I just received. His shoulders dropped and his voice changed as the conversation carried. Amidst the conversation I was so proud of him and the way he respectfully communicated. This point I will come back to. Although I want to make a villain out of this farmer (trust me I tried) the truth is that he is a really kind man. He has been nothing but respectful to our family. It seems to me he is someone who hates confrontation and avoids the same at any cost. I have much empathy as a I try to understand that the farming business is changing in our world and even in our very community. The threat of big cooperation’s taking over family farms must be a heavy reality to our neighbors. The farmer told my husband that he sold a quarter further away to purchase the one backing our property. He bought the land with his sons as a business venture. He bought this land to support his livelihood. How can you make a villain out of a man who is looking after his own family? Regardless, back to the part of my husband speaking his own truth. I heard Josh say firmly to him that if he was being truthful he didn’t like the idea of the bush being cleared, that he wished the farmer would leave the section behind our home but furthered that he respects the property is not ours and it’s his to do as he pleases. He presented the idea of subdividing the section so we could preserve the area to which the farmer responded “now you have me thinking” …. Sadly, for us there has not been a response to Josh’s request.
As Blue and I ventured down our beaten path the crashing of the forest on the other side of the quarter echoed. The beeping of the heavy equipment a reminder of how fragile the wilderness really is. The reminder to me of the animals that have made this area their home now being misplaced during the harsh winter all presented to me at the forefront of my mind. If I am being truthful resorting back to the much desired “villain” role in wanting to justify my own sorrow and anger I pictured myself “tinkering” with the equipment to cease or at least stall their efforts. Alas, I could venture this way, but I know in my heart acting in such a manor is not a path that honors the essence of who I am.
In addition to the fear of the bush being cleared another weird scenario occurred at our home yesterday. After being without internet for years, yesterday we took the plunge and subscribed to a rural internet provider. As I was out in nature my kids lay sleepily in their pajamas on the couch watching Netflix as I was outdoors. My fear that we are watching the wilderness dissipate at the same time we are indulging with a form of technology. Am I shaping my kids to be indoors spending way too much time on screens? The water seems muddy and unsettled. The timing of all of these events seem all to sadly correlated.
So I do the only thing that felt right this morning. I went out into nature. And as I walked in this place of beauty I tried to manifest to the universe the need for peace in my life. I wanted to pray for the bush to be saved but that didn’t seem right, it somehow seemed greedy. So, I prayed for strength, I prayed for continued peace, I prayed for acceptance of whatever comes my way. I prayed for the squirrels and other creatures on the move, for my family and for the farmer and his family. The conclusion that I have come to this morning is that my heavy chest is a sign of loss to me. Loss of somewhere I have found comfort, peace and stability. I have also come to understand that peace is not just “out there” but also right here inside me. And although the wilderness may not be steps from my door it’s all around me. If these daily interactions are so important, I will make the effort to find this peace somewhere else close by. As for my children, I have faith that they will continue to enjoy the outdoors, that the presence and importance of the same will be reminded to them as the grow into these incredible little people they are becoming. Although all of this isn’t maybe what I was seeking I felt better after my time in the wilderness. I suppose I found my contentment for today.
Thank you so much for venturing along today. I wish you comfort in whatever “wilderness” brings you peace.
Love and light to you all,