On the North Shore, you’re never far from the woods. There are forest preserves in every direction and well-wooded ravines. Sometimes you go to a wooded spot to get away from words. If you deal in words, if you’re a writer, or a reader (lots to read these days, whether current events or escapism from those events), the weight of the world’s words can be a lot to carry. So you get away to the woods, maybe to find something in nature that’ll lighten your mood.
Now, you’re on a woodland trail not far from home and you see a deer. You guys make eye contact. The deer is not fazed, but slowly turns away. You were absorbed by a nice moment there. Then you see a blue jay. You wonder how its colorful pattern came about, and you’re not thinking about words. The leafy trail is quiet. You’re free of words, free of the day’s news. That’s the way you like it, even the way you need it, especially these days. When you leave those North Shore woods, all settled and free of words, what craziness makes you go to the keyboard and type these?
This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things. Available on amazon.com.