Field Notes: Naturalist – Adirondack Reflection

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve returned from the Adirondacks. While my arrival home was certainly welcome, the trip provided me with a sense of rejuvenation and clarity I had not felt for some time. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own den, but I’d be lying if I said my body didn’t long for the cool embrace of stream water, or my lungs didn’t fondly recall the clear mountain air, freshly exhaled from rolling foothills of greenery.

The temporary habitat we made on a ridge in the heart of The North Country is one to which I’d like to return soon. I can only at best attempt to describe the elation hearing familiar avian chatter and recognizing plant allies brought me. With each burst of recognition, my consciousness lit up, bright and vibrating. Each encounter gave me a rush that felt as though I was seeing an old friend. Everything from the scent of rain to the sight of Indian pipes was so joyful.

There were a few moments that stand out to me. Laying in the open grass, cool chlorophyll blades tickling my toes and neck as shooting stars streaked through the silent night. The moment I submerged my body in a mountain stream for the first time in far too long, a freshly drawn breath tight in my chest as a full-bodied sense of purity washed over me. Stepping out and feeling the sun-warmed, completely smoothed granite carved by centuries of tide. Standing at the summit of a mountain, exhausted and heaving in thin air but so damn alive, with nothing above and everything below.

I have to wonder if I lived somewhere this was a part of my daily life, if I would appreciate it this much. I think as a species, we tend to let things fade into the background of our hectic existences, and take things for granted that fall within our baseline. Not living in a wooded area, I think I fall in love with the natural world more deeply each time I immerse myself… and of course, I know I will be back home soon.

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