I like being in the woods any time of year and the other day I
felt like taking a walk. I decided to check some of my bowhunting
sites to see if I could discern any wildlife activity. For wild
things, food is at a premium in December and a harvested cornfield
always attracts a variety of critters.
From the looks of things, the remaining corn was still
attracting deer and wild turkeys because, from their frozen tracks
and droppings, it was clear both species were depending on the easy
pickings left by the farmer when he harvested the field last
As I continued on my way it suddenly occurred to me Christmas is
just a few days away and I can’t help wondering how many people are
worried about what to give to whom. Gifts mean nothing to me
because I have everything I need: a good family, my health, more
truly good friends than one man deserves, and an opportunity to
enjoy nature whenever the mood strikes. Rather than giving gifts, I
think about giving thanks for simple things like woodland walks
that make life worthwhile.
My children now live in North Carolina and in a few days I’ll be
boarding a plane to spend the Christmas holidays with them and our
grandchildren. The visit, for me at least, adds to the joy of the
season even if the only places I’ll be walking are shopping malls
built on paved-over farm fields. I’ll be back in New York before
the first of the year and there will be other opportunities for
woodland walking. It’s a long winter.