As I drove through the countryside this week I took careful note of the corn.
It is starting to dry quickly and the long, lush, fields of summer are making way for the autumn browns and golds.
It won’t be long and the harvest will be in full swing and yet another season comes to an end.
Just before I reached my driveway and turned into it, a mature doe and her twin fawns crossed right in front of me.
They bolted down my drive and quickly darted into the woods. I was able to see the fawns long enough to notice that their spots are also nearly gone.
They too are preparing for the upcoming season.
The early part of this week made fall seem like it is far away and may never arrive. Reality will catch up with this heat wave though and soon we will don sweatshirts and heavier clothes.
As I sat and observed the world from the front windshield of my car I also noticed the deer stand sitting along my drive.
It seems to yearn for someone to sit in it again. It has been many long months since I last observed the woods around my house from its perch.
Soon, very soon, I will be back.
It is funny how we as sportsmen go through seasons as well. It doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago when I was driven by the desire to take my first deer.
It was a passion that crept through all my thoughts. As I matured as a bow hunter my passion turned toward harvesting my first nice buck. Now three of them surround my chair as I write this column.
Yes, the desire that fills me for this deer season is not so much the opportunity to draw back on a nice buck or mature doe, but instead my desire is longing for the peace that the deer stand brings.
It starts as I take my first step from home or car. That first step that means it is time to be quiet.
The same first step that transforms me into a part of nature as opposed to just an observer of it.
It’s that step that transfers some primal instinct and connection with ancestors past and their enormous respect for nature and everything in it.
There is something about climbing the steps of a treestand that represents leaving one world and entering another.
Once seated our perspectives change. Not just in the literal sense of looking down on the world around you, but also in the sense that things that seemed important just a few moments ago realign themselves.
Worries melt away and a blanket of calm surrounds you.
There are times when I bring a book to read in the stand and there are other days when I just sit and observe the squirrels fighting amongst themselves.
There is always something going on.
There have even been moments where I am completely captivated by some small insect crawling up the trunk of a tree.
What a vast undertaking for such a small creature. As my sons have gotten older I have enjoyed time in the stand with them as well. They may not be perched in a tree, but they have watched things from a deer blind. There is so much that they too can learn just by sitting and learning to be patient.
Yes, I am anxious for them to take their first deer, but it will come. Someday. It will come.
There are all kinds of programs on television, books, and therapy centers that preach the importance of finding peace.
We all need that quiet time to reflect and let our mind be calm.
Year after year I have found that wearing camo and clinging to the side of an old oak tree fits that need perfectly.
Enjoy your preparations for the upcoming season and when it is time to take to the woods enjoy the tranquility.
It is truly a gift.