We own a little piece of property near the Hocking Hills in Ohio. My husband’s family bought it long before I married him. It used to have a cabin, but it’s been taken down. Now, all we’re left with is its natural beauty and the same creek that’s been running through it for eons.
I remember wading in the creek in my 20’s, but I wouldn’t do it now. I can’t put up with all the rocks on the bottom, and I’m not quite as daring as I used to be.
My husband comes alive when he gets on that property. He’ll go through all the brush and tall grass off the path. I followed him into it the other day, and fell over some fallen branches. (I thought, what am I doing, I’m too old for this.) Maybe my days of going through the untamed wilderness are through. I’ll just stay on the path. I think when my husband is 85, he’ll still find a way to plod through the brush and climb those paths.
After a freak storm swept through Ohio, a lot of trees fell all over the place. The family had to hire a logger to clear out and cut down damaged trees. Just like people, sometimes the old ones have to go to make room for the new ones.
I was afraid cutting down those trees would ruin the property, but nature has a way of coming back every year. It did look a little sparse at first, but now it’s been replenished, and you can see a little further than before.
Last year, I was fascinated when I walked down to the creek and there were hundreds of colorful butterflies swirling all around. It was enchanting to see them in such a natural environment.
My husband is happiest when he is building something and working with his hands. He loves to take his garden tractor down to those hills and clear the brush. I jokingly call him Daniel Boone. Sometimes I think he was born in the wrong century.
I like the sounds of the property. All you hear is the rustling of the leaves. It’s mostly silent. If you sit by the creek, you can hear the sounds of the water. It can be quite peaceful.
My husband is always pointing out to me where a deer probably slept. In all these years, I’ve only seen one.
We celebrated a lot of milestones down there. Our engagement, marriage, our children, new decisions, jobs and heart breaks. If we’re restless, we will hop into the car and take a little ride to the woods. It used to be five of us but the kids all grew up, so now it’s back to just the two of us.
I used to bound up and down the pathways. Now, I walk and have to stop several times before I get to the top. I recently figured out a good old walking stick made up of a fallen limb of a tree makes the climb easier. I do wonder how much longer I’m going to be able to keep walking the several pathways my husband has carved out with his little tractor.
What is more breathtaking than trees, and a vista to look out at them? All the wild flowers of purple, yellow, and the wispy pussy willows? In the winter it’s a little more desolate. I know that in the spring yellow daffodils will be waiting for me. I’m grateful to the former owners of the property who planted them years ago.
Since I’ve gotten older I’ve realized material objects aren’t going to bring me joy, but I can feel happy in the quiet woods. It also helps to have my Daniel Boone by my side.