I left my car on a forgotten gravel road and hiked into the thicker, younger surrounding wood. The leaves were falling from burnt orange and yellow and red trees, and with the ease of the wind came the silence. It fell like a heaviness on the air, and my heart eased with it. I hiked for nearly an hour before I found the perfect view on a foothill and I setup camp. My tent went up without issue and the sleeping bag was rolled out and ready for bedtime, before I started a fire in a ring of rocks from the surrounding area. I gathered thin, browning sassafras twigs and limbs and broke them into 3-6" pieces. I struck steel against the edge of my flint and a spark lit the charcoal clothe, which I placed in the middle of a ball of frail jute. I blew and the flame caught on strong. The sweet smelling sassafras piled over the smoldering ball of fiber smoked then caught fire. I placed larger pieces of limbs and wood and the fire grew in size. The familiar pangs of hunger were apparent in my midsection. It was time to cook...
All in all, it was an uneventful trip, but that was what my heart had been ailing for. It was the beauty of the silence, the lack of human activity, that healed me and gave me peace. There's something amazing about sitting in front of a fire as the sun goes down, with nothing but the earth and the wild woods to keep me company. If you haven't connected with Nature on a level like that, get out there and experience it, be out in it, for without the natural we are aliens on our own planet.
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(Photo by #1-11 by Brandon Scott, product image via © Solo Stove)
This article was written by Brandon Elijah Scott