by Madison Greer
Tri-County Technical College
The 2019 South Carolina Wildlife Outdoor Writing Contest top five entries have been selected and are featured right here on SouthCarolinaWild.org! The top five student writers include: Kassie Burkett, Madison Greer, Gracie Howard, Caleb Reed and Emily Thigpen.
I have grown up in a world when anything I wish to know is only a click away, and unfortunately this convenience of modernity has affected how people experience the world around them. In today’s time it is easy to forget how much the great outdoors has to offer, but lucky enough for me ever since I can remember, I have spent my time exploring in nature. In fact, growing up my brother and I would have to be forced back into the house each night with the promise that tomorrow we could play outside again as much as we wanted. Back then, I loved the outdoors because it was full of endless adventures for my imagination to create such as turning fallen trees into my very own pirate ship, but now I love the outdoors for a deeper reason. You see, when I am in the outdoors, I feel such an immense sense of gratitude to be able to experience the beauty so many people take for granted, and it is while I am outdoors, I have made some of the best memories of my life.
I was practically pulling my tag out of the bag already two steps ahead!
This past April each Saturday morning has been designated for turkey hunting with my dad. I made sure that he understood it was crucial to keep these mornings free of other plans because this would be the year I finally got my first turkey. I can clearly picture one April morning hunt with my dad that was extra special. This hunt started out walking through the field as the grass, still wet with dew, drug across our boots while we made our way to the blind. I could feel the excitement already building up as I anticipated a good hunt. Once we made it to the blind, we took our place and waited for the sun to peek out over the horizon and flood the field with its warm glow. Ironically throughout the entire turkey season, we had not had luck getting any turkeys to gobble. However, this particular morning as soon as the box call echoed over the field, we heard a Tom gobble back from within the woods. At this point I was ecstatic, for I just knew this was finally going to be my hunt. I was practically pulling my tag out of the bag already two steps ahead! However, that Tom never made an appearance, and the longer we sat there with no sound from him, the more attention I began to pay to what was really going on around me.
I was able to see the beauty around me, and I think it is important I discovered the beauty in the wait.
I began to notice how the field of wheat which had yet to sprout their heads seemed to dance under the gentle cool breeze. I noticed how the bird’s tunes were full of notes that reached crescendo, but their songs were ironically calming all the same. I noticed how the clouds went from a soft pink in the early morning to the white puffs of cotton as the sun rose higher. I noticed that the Oak trees rooted firm stood sturdy, but the pines were more prone to sway in the wind. I noticed how so far away from the business of everyday life in that quiet little field hunting with my dad, I was creating one of those memories I mentioned were the best in my life. You see, although the hunt did not turn out as what most would call a success, it could not have gone any better for me. I ended up walking away with something much more valuable than a long beard with a nice fan. I was able to see the beauty around me, and I think it is important I discovered the beauty in the wait. Although I am still waiting and holding out for my first bird, but I know now if we rush through the journey for the prize at the end, we will never notice the beautiful view around us on the way there.
I can step out into the woods with a problem, and it seems like I always emerge with a clear head.
To sum up, I have always had a love for the outdoors, and the moments spent there are something I hold very precious. I can step out into the woods with a problem, and it seems like I always emerge with a clear head. Being able to value the world around us is important but taking the lessons it has to offer is just as important. Hunting with my dad has shown me that there is beauty in waiting because I have found that while I am waiting, the small things that seemed insignificant before like being able to sit with my dad and do something we both love, is what truly matter most. The prize at the end, even if it was that old Tom we heard gobbling, can’t happen without the journey there, and the journey is full of beautiful things if we have the eyes to see them.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.