Welcome back and I truly thank you for sticking with me as long as you have. I am extremely grateful that you continue to stop in and see what I have been up too. With that said the next chapter in my survival and outdoor education is centered around connection. It seems that with all my
training and experience there is one critical flaw in the picture. That flaw is actually connecting with nature on a spiritual level. During SERE and intense survival scenarios there is often never any time to simply connect with the world around you. Knowing the flora and fauna; and knowing how to use it, is a small piece of the puzzle. On a recent trip in the mountains I had a small but profound experience in connection that led me to explore it further and see where it takes me. Here is part of the story:
I was helping out at a local school teaching nature connection and mentoring in an outdoor environment to some local teens. I was supervising a shelter building exercise and somehow I lost my Mora knife that was clipped on my belt. It is an inexpensive piece of equipment so no major loss but there is a fair amount of embarrassment associated with losing gear. I searched the entire area as thorough as I could while also enlisting the help of a couple of the students. The knife was lost and that was that. Two days later during one of my breaks I wandered back up to the location of the shelters and searched around for about another hour to no avail. After I had given up the search I sat on a log, had some water and just enjoyed being there alone on my time off. I sat there for about 25 minutes just observing nature and thinking about nothing in particular. As I was preparing to leave I turned my head and much to my surprise, there was my knife, clipped on a budding tree at eye level and within arms reach. Was this just a coincidence? Probably, but had I never sat there to just be present and enjoy it for it was, I would not have found my knife. I left the area feeling just a little bit closer to my ancestors and those people that wandered this word when it was largely an unknown landscape.
Coincidence or connection Ill let you decide but there is some kind of magic the woods if we can sit still, recognize it for what it is. If we can appreciate it without summing up the resources that it can provide, it will provide so much more than we could imagine. Since then I have had many more experiences with nature connection and Ill share some more of them with you later. In the mean time treat your trips to the woods like a visit with a cherished elder. You just might make a connection and find some real value that you otherwise would have missed.