“Of Woodsmoke and Quiet Places”

I love fall. It is my favorite season for hiking and camping. There’s nothing better than chili cooked over the campfire on a chilly fall day. This year we’ve been doing a lot of hiking, but we aren’t going to make it out camping or up to my parents’ place on a lake in northern Wisconsin. To make up for it, I thought I’d put out a few pictures from our past fall adventures. As I was sorting I stumbled across a wonderful essay on young children and the outdoors.

Boys heading off for a canoe ride on a lake in northern Wisconsin.

“After a child rides into their lives on unseen waves to claim their hearts, too many parents of very small children put the loon on hold. Too many set down the tent, put away the paddle and the camp stove, until the child develops wispy whiskers or the need for training bras. This is crazy. The world is a park today. Stars are taking up new positions now; the sun is sprouting new flames at this moment. Take your child as we speak and glide through walls and locked doors. It’s the only way. Go like gorillas shuffling through the jungle. Take the prizes of your life and rifle the flowers of their smell, or the sacred cause will slip away, and too late you will groan, “Ah me. I have waited one second too long, and now the kid wishes to be doing something else.” 

 Formula heats beautifully on glowing embers. Diapers dry magnificently in the wind. Go. Take the wide-eyed little ones. Baptize them in the woodsmoke of quiet places. With an eye out to dodge disasters, edge along the outskirts of tomorrow. Stir up the glue of remembering and being remembered. Gently, go gently, but forge the bonds of a life-long love affair with purple evening mists.

Win their hearts and their souls, take them now and live your lives in great abundance.” 

–Jerry Wilbur, of Woodsmoke and Quiet Places

I think we’ll spend this entire weekend outside enjoying the blaze of fall colors. The maple trees are my favorite.

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