By Marc Hitson
There are times of deep contentment that happen in the woods while working falling timber. It’s deep in the sense that it goes to the very heart of a man, a satisfaction which is more intense than the beautiful day should be the cause of. When I sense this emotion I pause, take a break and enjoy the moment. I like it a lot. I don’t know quite how this super good contented feeling is triggered or why. It sometimes is just working on a nice day doing something I’m quite good at. I had a lot of confidence as a timber faller.Being in the forest has a something to with the satisfaction factor, too but it is not easy to define where it starts and ends. It is not a worship or reverence – lord knows I wreak a lot of havoc on the poor forests of Ma Nature; it is more of a
belonging and being part of God’s art work–nature. I’m not describing it well, except to say this: the experience often involves stopping for a minute and kind of saying “hi” to the forest inside – (which is actually saying ‘hi’ to God as well).
What gets me started on this grand inner expansiveness on a fine and glorious day in the forest could be any one of a thousand things which I have seen and experienced so often that it has become a part of me:
Wind in the trees. The smells of crushed fir and pine needles, of the forest floor of dried needles on a dry summer day, of freshly churned up dirt and limbs ground in from the logging. The sound of log trucks with their jake-brakes echoing through the hills, across canyons, creeks flowing. The dark lights of the deep forest, a ray of sunlight piercing the canopy to shine on one solitary tree branch—a contrast in the darkened forest which is so bright with color contrast it is brilliant. The feel of log bark when you walk down it with caulk (pronounced cork) boots, using the freshly fallen tree for a path over the scented crushed flora of the forest. Rich yellow sunshine on one side of a tree at the end of the day when the light gets intricate.
Nature is just an extension of God’s expression to us via His art—His medium. “The ungodly will know He exists by His creation.”
These momentary pleasures make the everyday grind of work seem pleasant sometimes.