It was as if the tree stand was made for me. I passed four others as I walked through the woods behind our house yesterday, but never felt compelled to climb up any of the ladders, until I saw this one. A small piece of wood placed in the “Y” of a giant pine, a simple wooden ladder leaning against the tree. There was an even smaller piece of wood 2 feet below the seat to rest my feet. I felt whoever made this tree stand was just as interested in being in nature, as shooting a deer. It was just too peaceful, too connected, too organic, for someones who’s sole purpose was just to fill the freezer for the year or get the big buck.
I leaned back against the bark of the huge branch. I became a part of the tree. I could feel the energy surge through me, I imagined the roots of the tree deep in the earth and the top most branches reaching out for the sky. But the most amazing thing was that nothing happened. It was enough just to be there. I was comfortable and content in every way. Not in the woods, but a part of the woods.
After a while I heard some movement below me, I looked down to make sure Lenore was still there. She had come with me into the woods, sometimes leading the way, sometimes running off on her own agenda, but never out of site. Of course she was still there. After all, Lenore is a hunting dog, she knows how to wait. But now she was standing, looking around. I took this as my sign that it was time to leave. I climbed down the ladder and silently thanked the tree and the hunter who built the stand. Then I followed Lenore back through the trees, knowing better the place I call home.