Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Nature Of My Thankfulness

This last time I went out hiking I found something completely unexpected. People! Whenever I visit these trails there are a few people around, but it was literally crowded. Until this year, I pretty much only went hiking during warmer weather, but now it'll be all year long. In the summer I would pass by maybe two or three groups of people a day; but as it gets colder, there are more and more people coming out.

The whole thing seems rather backwards to me. I thought at first they were looking at the fall colors, but those colors are gone now. I'm really not sure what the extra attraction is. Maybe the changing seasons are especially interesting for others.

When I go hiking I like to get plenty of pictures of the surrounding nature. I kind of avoid using pictures of people. Some people might not like having their picture posted on the internet. Honestly I'm not sure because I almost never ask. The few times I did, they were very receptive to the idea. So maybe I should reevaluate my thoughts on this.

I belong to a very private family, so my views on things like that are biased in that way. You can see by my avatar at the top of my blog, that I am very camera shy. This blog was actually a hard thing for me to start, because I had trouble with revealing anything to others. I think I'm getting better with that though. I leave clues to my identity every once in a while.

Back to my main subject. I went out to get some photos of nature, and not people. I saw so many people out there, that I became a little discouraged. So I decided to take a trail where I almost never see anyone. It's usually deserted, because it has a lot of very steep hills. Most people like the easier paths. I figured I would get some good pictures here without being interrupted. Boy was I wrong!

Even this trail was full of people! Just in front of me there was a man and a woman, and behind me there were people with little kids. If you look closely at the center of the photo below, you can just make out the man that was in front. I really didn't want to be disturbed, and I didn't want to disturb them with my picture taking.

My mood was quickly going bad. I really didn't want to be out here with all of these people interrupting my solitude. I wanted to take my pictures in peace. I wanted to see wild animals. How could I do that with all of these people surrounding me? Grrr. I had to get away! But then I started to realize something...

I realized that this wasn't a bad thing that was happening. These people were out enjoying nature! This was what I wanted. I started this blog so I could tell people to go out and see nature. I wanted them to know how great it could be, and here they were. Them being here wasn't bad, it was wonderful!

I started to remember my past encounters with other people on these trails. Others are always friendly out here. They almost always have a smile and a greeting for me. It had always been a pleasant experience when someone would stop and we would have a good conversation.

We would share our experiences of the day out here, and then depart feeling a little happier to get the thoughts of another nature lover. Giving and taking stories and advice from each other. Sometimes those were the highlight of my day. How could I have forgotten so quickly?

I'll remember this from now on. I have helped people out there, and in turn been helped by others. That's what this is all about. And I am truly thankful for every encounter I've had with other people on these trails. It's them and you that really make this all so fun for me. I think this is something for me to think of, especially on a day like this. I hope this turned out to be a nice positive message.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related Posts


  1. Very nice essay. I tend to get grumpy when I see people out too and try and remember the same thing. Better out in the world than shut in and shut down!

    I wonder if the economy is forcing people to return to simpler pleasures?

    In any case, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  2. Thanks Farlane. It may be the economy. This is an unexpected benefit of less money to go around. Hopefully everyone will remember nature when things get better.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too. And to all my other readers, and especially commenters such as yourself.