Slow Down and Look Around

Thought for Today

“We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and to know the place for the first time.”

~ T.S. Eliot

As long as I can remember, I have always had a love affair with nature and the natural order of things. Having always preferred the country to the city, and being outdoors rather than indoors, I have a strong conviction to live my life as gently upon our Mother Earth as I possibly can.

Growing up during the sixties and seventies, well before cable and all the nature programs available on television today, my favorite programs were, Marty Stouffer’s Wild America”, and Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” I also enjoyed Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop”a program about a master carpenter/woodworker who has learned and mastered the craft using only hand tools.

During the mid eighties, I discovered “The Tracker” by Tom Brown Jr. This book is about a boy raised in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey by a misplaced Apache Shaman. Tom learned the ways of this old and wise Indian who went by the name of Stalking Wolf.

Stalking Wolf was the grandfather of Tom’s best friend. Together they learned the ways of Stalking Wolf and the life of the Apache. Learning how to stalk, hunt, gather wild foods and herbs, spiritual customs, and they even took their manhood trials.

Tom became world renowned as a tracker, making headlines when he tracked and found a young girl who had been lost in the wilderness for days. Rescue search teams and dogs had searched to no avail. Tom tracked and found this girl while having to discern which tracks and signs were the dogs and rescue team members, and which belonged to the girl.

Tom founded a Wilderness Survival school, which has been hugely successful. He has authored many books, and continues to pass on the learning’s passed onto him by Stalking wolf, When I first read today’s quote I was reminded of something I read in one of Toms books. It was a lesson on the simplicity of life. And how we often miss the obvious.

The exercise is that during your daily commute; make it a practice to notice things you have never noticed before. Drive a little slower, look around, there is a whole other world out there, if we will just slow down and look around.

©2008 Charley Hoke


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