Monday, December 17, 2012

Hunting For Answers

Saturday morning in some ways was like any other Saturday during deer season. I was up before the sun, and out the door early to get in the woods. I decided to hunt one of my favorite places, and I'm pretty sure I made this decision without consciously thinking about it. It's a treestand that two friends and I built on my grandparents' farm, back in the woods on a ridge overlooking a small creek and pond that my uncle built years ago. I haven't seen any deer from this stand this year, although I will say that I haven't hunted it much. However on this day, it wasn't really the deer I was hunting for, it was the peace that comes from being in the woods.
A Foggy Morning in the Stand

The news about the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT was fresh in my mind that morning as I sat in the stand. As a teacher, I can only imagine what the students and staff must have went through, and although I'm not a parent yet myself, I can't begin to imagine how the parents of those children were affected. I went to the woods that morning in order to be alone with my thoughts, and just let nature provide some solace.

Fresh Rub on a Pine
Walking in that morning,  I flushed a flock of roosted turkeys along the path, and had to stop a minute and calm down after the initial shock. Once I made it to the stand, I spent the morning watching the squirrels running around and chasing each other, and discovered a freshly rubbed tree not far from the stand. I didn't see any deer, but that was ok. There is something about this place, whether it's the connections to my family or the memories of my childhood roaming these woods, that always seems to lift me up. I decided before I left that morning that deer or no deer I would be back there that afternoon.

Southern Flying Squirrel

Saturday afternoon, I was back in the stand, and made a discovery that added some excitement to the day. For several weeks, I had been hearing something scratching around in the roof of the stand, but I just assumed it was birds on the roof, or a little mouse in between the roof and tar paper ceiling. When I climbed into the stand, I heard something scratching around, so I tapped on the roof, and a flying squirrel sailed out and landed on the tree beside the stand. This was the first time in probably 15 years that I had seen one of these neat little creatures, the last time being not far from where I was Saturday. After it landed, the squirrel stayed stock still, doing its best tree bark impersonation. When I left at dark, it was still there. Once again, there were no deer, but I did something Saturday that I don't do nearly often enough. I just sat still, and took in everything around me.

Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." That's what I did on Saturday. I was still.

For everyone who was affected by the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. 

- Joseph


  1. Being still brought its rewards! That southern flying squirrel is like an emissary from the great beyond.

    1. It was! I needed a day like Saturday. In some small way, it helped me make sense of everything.

  2. Thanks for the NC field notes, news and being bold enough to publish the Word of God.


Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think!