Paul Butzi |||

Life in the forest

It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that I very much prefer to like them at a distance rather than up close.

People argue about how large your interpersonal distance should be - 2 feet on the east coast of the US, 3 feet on the west coast, some other distance in other cultures. Maybe six feet or two meters in the covid-19 era.

I prefer to measure interpersonal distance in miles. If I had to live in a city, I would be pretty unhappy. Cities are too many people in too little space. They’re too noisy, too bright, too chaotic. As Steve Miller put it, I don’t want to get caught up in any of that funky shit going down in the city.

So I live in the forest. It’s… tranquil. I’m surrounded by trees and wildlife. It’s not silent in the sense that there’s no sound, but it’s silent in the sense that there’s little manmade sound - only distant traffic, airplanes overhead, or the noise I make with a chainsaw or excavator. When it’s noisy, it’s most likely a Pacific Wren or Stellar’s Jay, or a Varied Thrush. Or perhaps a coyote, or bobcat. Or deer or a bear crashing through the brush.

The thing about living in a forest is this: the word forest’ is more like a verb than a noun. Forest is more of a process than a thing. And I love watching and being a part of that process. I like that after a year overrun with rabbits, the year following will have abundant coyotes, bobcats, and owls. I like seeing trees grow. There’s a rich rhythm to life in the forest and you can feel that rhythm if you pay attention.

So a fair part of my life is just living in the forest, building trails, doing simple forest management, and enjoying my surroundings.

If you think that’s crazy, no worries. You get to decide what sort of environment you want to live in, and I get to decide what environment I live in.

My thoughts and musings on life in the forest in my blog, categorized under Life in the Forest”.