Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Nine Year Old In Me

The other day the wife said something that got me thinking. She said she hadn't realized I liked the outdoors so much and that, when I was talking about my bushwhacking and river wading experience, that I sounded (and smiled) like a 10 year old. I mentioned at the time that the first nine years of my life was in the woods. She then said "Oh, you're behaving like a nine year old." I think she's on to something. The first nine years of my life was spent on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks. My parents were busy taking care of the resort they owned and my brother, five years older then me, was too inconvenienced to take me with him and his friends so I used to wander the resort, the lake shore, and the surrounding woods alone at a relatively young age. I used to love walking through the trees - a rich source for the imagination of a young boy. I guess this is where my love of the woods, and nature in general, was locked in. I used to think I was miles away from home when in fact I never wondered more then a half a mile. Everything seems bigger when you're small.

Just before I turned nine, we moved away from the lake - left the country completely - and my life drifted towards the urban. Looking back, over the next 30 some years, I made several aborted attempts to get back to the nature of my childhood. I will post about some of those attempts someday. For now, my hiking is my latest attempt and as my hikes lengthen and I do more and more adventurous things (adventurous for me anyway), some of that nine year old in me surfaces. What a wonderful thing.

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