The Gift of Nothing

There are not many things that will get me up at 5 am. Typically, it’s been for traveling somewhere fun, which is a great reason, actually. Today, it was NOT for traveling to far off places, but to feed a group, dress in blaze and head out to my deer stand. It was a first for me and in many ways as exciting as an overseas vacation. 

I love the woods, it’s my favorite place to be and the place I feel the most myself.  Our crew set out across the field and to our respective stands. I took Christian’s stand, as this was the stand he first hunted out of a few years ago and took an 8 pointer about 45 minutes into his first season.

His luck did not rub off.

I sat, still and quiet. Neither of these are strong suits for me so I was pretty proud of myself. The morning was warm and still. I loved the sounds of the birds, turkeys, Sandhills, crows cackling. 

At first I was really nervous, what if a deer actually showed up?! None did. My nerves calmed as the sun came up and the first glow of sunrise cast across the meadow. It was beautiful, and quiet, and still, and totally void of deer.

Every snap of a twig or shuffle of a squirrel through the leaves made my breath stop. Still, nothing. My mind wondered – what if I have to pee? What is that bird sound? What if I get bored (clearly this was already setting in – seriously it’s 8:06 am and I’m writing blogs in my deer stand. It’s gonna be a long day.) It’s incredible to me that all the things I have forgotten over the last week or so finally have time to be remembered, they flood in. The neighborhood’s cattle moo for their breakfast. A noisy crow flies by…and nothing. 

I am so grossly aware of my thoughts. Constant jumping from one thing to the next, seemingly endless. I look up to check for movement in the meadow, and nothing. 

Another crow. Please don’t poop on me, I whisper to it as it moves directly over my head. Have you ever sat and listened to crows?  They’re crazy. They fly like drunk people drive and their noises are so diverse it honestly makes me wonder what they’re saying as they fly. Silly, wonky, seemingly nonsensical noises coming from them continuously.

Finally, I breathe a deep, full belly breath. My mind slows, as if it’s finally run out of things to run about…and there is nothing. 

Peace. Quiet. A gentle breeze…and nothing.

The very thing that was driving my reckless mind crazy an hour ago is now my sanctuary. Nothing. 

My eyes seem more clear, my mind and body more relaxed, and as I gaze across the meadow once again, nothing. But this time, it really feels like something. 

Blessings Galore, Anne

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