After several of years of wanting to go, I finally made it out to the Hostel in the Forest, and I plan on going back many, many times. I think everyone should take time every now and again to (re-)connect with nature. As a species, humans often think they are separate from nature. Getting out in nature helps to ground you and make you aware that you are part of a process. Our modern lives break and subvert the process which only leads to pollution, stress, and unhealthiness for ourselves and the planet. While I was in the forest I turned off my phone and spent my time reading, writing, and walking around the forest. Disconnecting was blissful, and it also helped me realize the importance of mindfulness in everyday life. I often caught myself wondering what time it was because I do this unconsciously in my daily life. There is always another place to go or another thing to do. Mindfulness means being in the present moment, and you cannot do that if you are always thinking about what you are going to do next. These are the lessons the forest taught me, and I will work to bring balance, awareness, and mindfulness to every day and every thing I do.
While out in the woods I heard a whippoorwill for the first time in my life. Now I know why so many old country songs talk about the lonesome call of the whippoorwill, they never stop calling the whole night. I heard a lot of nature during my stay. One morning while sitting out in front of my hut I heard a flapping noise and then a sweet medley. It was a wren that had landed next to me and started singing its song. That little bird made my day. I also saw fireflies for only the second time in my life. I wondered what people who never knew about fireflies thought when they first encountered them. Forest spirits? Angels? Demons? The souls of the departed trying to make contact? Or maybe they just thought they were bugs that lit up for some reason.
My lifetime membership card.
And there was this little guy. He started crowing about 3:00 or 4:00 clock every morning. I think that was his way of refusing to play by the rules. Also, chickens and roosters will just make sounds of bloody terror in 10 second intervals for absolutely no reason at all. Roosters walk around with no concerns or cares at all because they know they are the baddest thing on the planet. Whenever I am trying to get published I will be like the rooster and fear no reviewer or editor.
Here are some other pictures from the hostel, including a big ol’ red headed skink.
One morning of my trip I headed to the ruins of Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island. Here is a link to pictures of the fort and the old cemetery. Archaeologists and historians have done a great job with the ruins and re-creating what the settlement was like.
Just remember, ain’t no rooster got time for that.