16 December 2011

The Search

Abruptly he stood and stared blankly at his desk. He grabbed his coat and filled its pockets with a pen and paper, a canteen of water, his pipe, and various other things he deemed important. He pulled his hat on with a tug. Then, he wandered off in search of Nature.

He'd heard of Nature before, from his father, perhaps, or his great uncle. But he'd never seen Nature. Sure, he'd seen bits of it on T.V. or heard tapes of Nature relaxing people, but never had he been in Nature.

He had a hard time of it at first. It seemed to him that, as he got closer to Nature, one thing or another would remind him of the human world. Once he sat on a log by a pond, determined he'd finally found it, when a teen on a dirt bike tore over his head and down the trail, hysterical laughing in his wake. In another spot, he watched geese play in a pond, and became very sure he'd got it right this time, when one of the gaggle walked up to him with a candy bar wrapper in its mouth. Disgusted, he wandered on.

His feet ached as he walked, as his heart ached with anticipation of something elusive. Finding a fallen fir, he rested, sipping greatly from his canteen. He had beaten his own path here, more determined than ever to lose society. Looking around, he realized where he was: a clearing amidst a forest of fir. Each tree befriended him. He asked them, silently, how they had come to grow here, how many children each had, and why several of their brethren had fallen to form this clearing. Then, answering his own question, he noticed the stumps around him were clean-cut, and the ax lying on the tree beside him confirmed his suspicions. Taking another swig from his canteen, he wandered on.

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