And a pile of princesses
It seems as though spring has finally arrived in all of its foggy, slushy, mucky glory. Rivers stream out from below every snowbank, mounds of dirt line every road and sidewalk, and fog banks ensnare all of us nearly every morning.
The ice is rotting on the lakes and the rivers are kicking and screaming to open up. Birds are returning in droves. Marshlands are filled with redwing blackbirds, rivers are teaming with ducks and geese, and robins are on the prowl for worms anywhere there’s a patch of grass to work with.
The world is changing around us as a new season struggles to find a decent foothold where old man winter has finally given up his claim after so long.
Some of it is ugly. Namely, the dirt and trash that melting snow reveals along roadways. Yet other things are stunning, such as the wonders of seeing the sunrise once again, the sounds of flowing water, and the feeling of sunshine and warm air. With beauty comes danger in nature, and we don’t get to choose how or when.
In this season of change we go along with the uncomfortable growing pains of sprouting a new year. Spring puts forth shoots to lay the the way for summer’s lush endeavors, and so it goes with my life in the Northwoods.
Writing Woodsman Enough has often been about personal growth for me, the author. I have made it a journal into which has been recorded intimate details of the fabric of my very being as often as I have used it to distance myself from facing reality. I suppose that is the way life flows, and I am not ashamed...
In recent months, I have felt focus shifting within this project yet again, and I have questioned why this happens and where it will lead me. Sometimes it worries me, that I’ve lost my way, but then I remember my one rule and that keeps me in good faith - always keep writing.
The truth is, I have grown and I continue to grow and sprout and leaf in new and exciting ways. My life now days is much more than being a single man going on weekend outings to mine for column ideas. Now, I am engaged to a beautiful woman with a beautiful four-year-old girl. Throw into the mix one strange, tiny, female dog and I’ve got what I call a pile of princesses at home.
Do I still find inspiration in the great outdoors and the Northwoods lifestyle? Absolutely I do. But I also now find immeasurable joy and inspiration in getting the girl to choose to eat nutritious foods, watching her ride her bike in the driveway, and making a game out of feeding the dog, shoveling snow, and picking up sticks in the yard. Oh, and then there was the time she said to me, “I think I need an attitude adjustment,” and marched herself to her room to sit in the corner. That one still makes me smile.
My fiancé has been nothing but a supportive force in my sprouting new life and as we plant the seeds for a life together. Sometimes I am still shocked she will stick with my decisions, even when I worry if it’s the right choice. I think this has made me more decisive - having a partner who has got my back every step of the way.
Maybe it’s simply the fact that now much more of my time is spent in the private company of family, and bringing the world up into all of that right here seems like a daunting task. Really, though, I think it all comes back to growing. The changing of seasons in our lives, and the shifting earth from which we all spring.
Is that still being a woodsman? Being a family man? Learning how to take care of a house and a pile of princesses - is that woodsman enough for you? I hope so, because it is for me.
See you out there,
A woodsman in training.