Having a blog as a writer is sort of a weird thing. It's not like a wedding photographer or an artist, who tells you about the process or lifestyle behind the work. The process is the work, the words about life are the product. I want to tell you about this hunt (my first!) but I also am going to try to tell you about this hunt (for money!) so I can't use too many words or photos here.
I'd like to be one of those writers that can tease endless paragraphs out of twelve hours on a mountainside but I think it goes against some personal philosophy. Say what there is to say, then be done with it. Maybe that's the Idaho in me. Keep it to the point. There are so many stories, why use the same ones over and over?
And there are rules about where and how things have been published before. SO. I'll just say this. I loved hunting. Even two weeks later, I keep coming back to the smell. Of sage, of elk fur and piss, of a warm deer just dead, of snow. I didn't know snow had a smell, but I think it does. I'm so thankful to live in a place where we can do this. It's been said so many times it has turned cliche but I think it's also true - there's something in us, as humans, that needs to grow or kill or understand our food. It's our fuel. It's what builds our cells. It's who we are. I'm so grateful to Casey's parents for letting me tag along on this beautiful, quiet, family tradition of theirs. I'm growing to love these people as much as I love their son. They'd roll their eyes at me if I said it. They are that kind of people. It makes me love them more.
This weekend we gave a bag of deer roast to our friends and it felt like the most heartfelt gift I'd given in a long time.
On gifts, on food - It's the week of Thanksgiving and I know your e-mail inbox is already filled with advertisements and sales. I know that the upcoming "time off" that is supposed to be relaxing just makes work next week more heinous. I know family is usually more complicated than what we show in our photos and Instagram stories. I think what I want to say is, be gentle with yourself. Find grace in the walk around the block. Be brave enough to stay off your phone and look your world in the face, even in all its November gray. You won't catch up on work until January, it's okay. It's okay to just be here. It's okay for here to be hard.
This Thanksgiving week, I'm grateful for you and for this.