Thursday, December 9, 2010

building trails

I can't take credit for these photos. India took them while Jason and I (mostly Jason - but I did help as did the kids) busily worked on building trails in the woods behind our house. All the land around ours has been logged. It's all filled and thick with brush. There are lots and lots of happy animals in those briars I feel certain, but our land is still healing from having cotton grown on it in the early 1900's. As many of you know I live on family land that I grew up on and our woods are the woods that I played in when I was visiting my grandparents. (Not that my grandmother would all that often let me play in the woods by myself - girls aren't supposed to get dirty), I spent plenty of time in these woods, but my grandparents were of the generation that if you owned the land you could do with it what you wanted. There is a giant gully (or giant hole) on the backside of our land that is the depth of a fully grown tree - it's actually deeper than that because the top of the trees in there are still below the edge... anyhow, I digress, my grandfather dumped his trash in there and he let their neighbors do the same. It is a sad sight, although I have always been very fascinated with the gully - maybe because I am fascinated with water runoff. We have a ditch that runs on the far side of our house and down our driveway that the runoff from the road runs into and it has cut quite the ravine through our woods and into the gully. There's some water that moves back there, but we can't get to it safely - partly because the ravine is so deep and partly because of all the trash in it. When we moved onto our land we decided to let our woods have some peace. We have stayed out of them for the most part in an attempt to allow them to heal. When the kids were pretty small, we awoke one morning to the sound of tractors and trees falling only to look out of my bedroom window and see the trees on the land ajoining ours being pushed over and logged. If you have never watched the logging process it is painful if you have any love of trees. The tractors destroy everything in their path even the trees they are supposed to not be taking down and the land is left in shambles and barren. It was awful. It is like a seen straight out of Ferngully. I sat on my bed and watched and cried. A few days later, we got a call wanting to know if we would be interested in also selling our trees and we said "No, thank you. We will let our woods continue to prosper and grow." So, over the last few years, our woods have healed and they have become a beautiful pine forest and there are hardwoods beginning to grow in size and the pines are beginning to fall and you can feel the energy of the wood shifting knowing it is a safe place. No one is dumping garbage, the trees that fall are being cut up and the land is safe - at least for now, what happens after us, I don't know... Anyhow, we now feel like we can tread back there again in a good way. So, over the last few weekends, that wonderful husband of mine, has been working super hard (no big surprises there) on building us trails. We have 3 lovely trails on our 8 acres of wood in the faux country (we live almost in the city - close enough that it isn't such a chore to go anywhere, but far enough that we are able to have some land - we are only 5 minutes from town, but you wouldn't know it when you are here). The kids - especially India, are loving the woods and the autonomy you get when meandering back there and Tonka is loving all the walks he is getting to go on. I've been trying to take him everyday. It takes about 20 minutes to walk the longest trail all the way around. It is difficult to get a picture of them, but here's India's attempt. Thank you, Jason, for being inspired to do this, and thank you Earth for working so hard to heal our little patch of wood...

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