Some girls want chocolate for Valentine’s Day, others want flowers but just take this girl out in nature for some quiet and some sunshine for a few days and I’ll be the happiest lamb. This past weekend I went with a few of my buddies from Earth Rebirth to the backwoods of Northwestern Louisiana for some RV camping. Three dudes, a sweet little golden retriever named Abbey, myself and the sweet silence of nature to relieve our stresses and anxiety.
I’ve been sitting still in Oklahoma for about two months so a little road trip was definitely due. The suggestion came up over beers one night and the decision was made right then, we all needed a little trip to spend some time in nature.
One of my buddies, Deon, is about to be a film graduate and does a lot of the video marketing and promoting for Earth Rebirth. So, you know he had his camera out all weekend long. Check out some of his stuff on his blog, In Depth With Deon. The other two, Andrew and Chad, brothers who’s family land we were staying on in Louisiana definitely have a great interest in documentaries. Half the time, it feels like they are all scoping out things that might ought to be filmed or discussed on camera with the thought of a documentary in mind.
The main topic of this trip was of course connecting with nature. The focus bounced back and forth between survival scenarios and skills to respecting our fellow beings and the beauty of no cell service. The Grizzly Man and the Walt Whitman perspectives. I probably come from more of a Walt Whitman perspective myself. I can start a fire alright but my hunting skills stop at fishing with a proper pole and bait.
Deon had mentioned Walt Whitman first which reminded me of my favorite book from college. One of the few that I still open up to read from fairly regularly. It’s called American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, by Bill McKibben, and I was assigned it for a nature writing class my senior year in college (also one of my favorite classes, shoutout Professor Catherine Hobbs.)
The book is made up of writers dating back to Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and all the way up to present day activists such as Michael Pollan and Sandra Steingraber. I recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s the only book I ever want to travel with because it features so many beautiful voices and stories.
Anyway, a lot of our initial discussion that weekend was fueled by the question, ‘How long could you survive in the woods?’ When you really think about it, it’s such an in depth question. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to do much other than fish for food and who knows how much fish was in the pond nearby. So, realistically I probably wouldn’t make it long without a grocery store nearby. However, I am confident in my ability to be detached from society. I have faith in my ability to be alone.
I couldn’t Grizzly Man it but I think I could Thoreau it. Ya know what I mean? Quite frankly, I feel pretty good about that. The fact that losing cell service didn’t really phase me much and that I can set my phone down and not worry about it for long periods of time.
What do you think? Have you ever thought about taking a good long break from society and cell phones to be alone with your thoughts somewhere where you can’t hear even the noise of cars going by? Maybe even for months at a time?