looking forward

Posted on: September 19, 2010

by Deborah in the UP

A very good friend reminded me that we are the sum of all our experiences. A wise man for his tender years. I am what and who I am today, because of all the things I have done and experienced since the day I was born. I knew this, and I forgot this. Everything that happened to me while living in the woods, created this new and stronger .. Me, a better person than I was before.

I learned a depth of organization from my food storage and inventory methods, that still makes me smile. Oh, I had always had a knack for organizing, but living in the woods brought new meaning that word! When everything had to be timed just right, had to be done by hand, or face possibly physical peril, one steps up or dies.

We live and learn or we stop and die, it’s as simple as that, and most of us keep learning. I learned to recognize a dozen different wild flowers at a glance. Not useful? Some are edible! I learned to recognize and hunt a dozen different wild mushrooms.. Definitely a useful thing. I learned there were many wild edibles out there, at different seasons with different reasons.

I learned that I needn’t whine about being cold in the middle of winter, I wore unflattering sweat pants or an extra sweater… OR… added more wood to the fire, after I hauled it in from the wood shed. I still do that.. That’s one of the things that has stuck with me, knowing how to tend a fire to keep myself warm. But it goes back further: how to stack that wood so the ricks (piles) don’t collapse, how to select the right wood for the right job, remembering to store enough kindling for the long winter when you can’t find any under four feet of snow………. It all takes planning and foresight…something I was very good at.. And STILL AM!

I gained a confidence I didn’t know existed within me from that experience of snowmobiling in the blizzard. I was faced with a “I can’t quit, I can’t fail” situation and I prevailed. I think this was one of the most valuable lessons of all.

I may be alone in this house, but I’m not alone in this world.

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