I’ve just finished my October (sort-of) fast from social media. I let my phone sit out of reach. I didn’t answer all my emails. I didn’t produce as much content as I sometimes do, or get as much feedback in return.
I disappear a little, when I do this. I turn right into wood, like my trees, and I turn into air like the wind that hugs them. It’s a bittersweet magic.
Sometimes I have the feeling that our life is such a fragile echo of old times, that it actually could completely disappear. It’s like a secret garden, this simple life. It’s a hidden, forgotten place overgrown with vines: the place that time forgot.
This is just moments of my life most of the time, as I maintain my blog and my YouTube channel and live in so many ways right alongside my peers. But on a rainy day, with the Internet turned off, it strikes me right down to the heart, how humans and all our accomplishments fade into these rocky hills. It’s good for my perspective, to feel this: to be small against this vast sky. It’s good for my heart.
It’s my soul cleanse, but it is also the stand I make. When I choose silence this way it is my stand against the forgetting. It is my stand for a kind of beauty that is precisely, exactly the same thing as truth.
The silence of the woods isn’t a nothingness. It isn’t dead. The silence of the woods is bursting with the spark of God’s creation. It is alive with wisdom I need to live a better, more intentional, more joyful life.
My mother believed passionately in keeping the old ways. She loved the people she called “oldtimers.” She would go and ask questions, interview people, soak up their skills and ways and attitudes.
I haven’t always wanted to follow my mother in that way. Respecting old ways requires a little bit of humility about the new ones. Seeing humanity in this way — as generations passing over time — gives me that same perspective that will make our glories fade into these rocky hills. It’s beautiful. But it’s bittersweet. It makes a person small, but part of something beautiful and vast. It’s like turning in your one handful of gold sand in return for a whole beach of gold that will pass through your fingers and your toes.
This too, is an oldtimer skill. Perhaps the most important of the oldtimer skills. Can you listen to the woods? Can you hear silence?
It’s a dying magic.
One of the things I’ve been doing in my quiet this month is building a little ebook, called, “Twenty Tiny Stories From the Woods.” Some of the content has been on the blog before, some of it is completely original. But it’s all composed to give you this experience, of the silence and magic of the woods. Except this way you can get it without having to move your family into a 314 square foot yurt, or having to go the winter without electricity.
The only way to get this particular ebook — this particular collection of the secrets of the woods — is to pre-order my memoir, What Falls From the Sky. My memoir will be available to everyone in EXACTLY SIX WEEKS and then this window will close.
Click the image or this link to find out more.
Wishing you all today the magic in the scraping of the leaves and ears to hear it. Wishing you that portal of wisdom where beauty and truth are the same thing and the wild inspires awe the way that God inspires awe.
And if you get my little ebook, I hope you like it.
Love from the yurt,