I was supposed to be hunting this past weekend. Naturally, work got in the way.
New hunters Evyl Robot and Jennifer went on without me, for their first trip to stalk wild hogs. They were unsuccessful in bagging their quarry, but that’s hunting. Not every trip results in a kill, but this trip, like so many hunts, did not end in failure. Instead it ended in a bit of enlightenment.
Is this coming from the same girl that only a few years prior was trying desperately to save 3 baby rabbits? Feeding them KMR and snuggling them on her belly to keep them warm? The same girl that cried the day we had to bury them because they didn’t survive?
Yep. And you know what? In some ways it feels like an act of worship.
It’s easy to take for granted the bounty God has provided for us when we fight the crowds for meat in cellophane and Styrofoam. For me anyway.
But in the bitter cold, out in the elements of raw creation, it’s hard to deny it.
From our little spot in the trees, we watched the world awaken. The stars faded and finally, the sun filtered in. Unfortunately, it seems our piggies are not morning piggies, but that’s okay. We’ve learned something for next time.
Even a hunt that ends without bringing home fresh meat is not a failure. Every trip out among the leaves brings you closer in harmony to nature, and it allows you to better feel and understand the rhythms that the world outside of our carefully crafted facade of civilization runs on.
I still love all of God’s creatures. I’ve realized that hunting them is anything but callous towards them. Callous is ordering a basket of chicken wings without noting the lives lost for your meal. In taking the time to study the habits of an animal before setting up in their habitat, you must respect them. Their lives become very real. You are forced to recognize exactly where the bounty that God provides comes from. In taking this step, I’ve learned to truly love and respect these creatures.
Even though this hunt did not net us any meat, it was not unsuccessful. The consolation pork shoulder I purchased later at the grocery store had a greater value. Sure, it came from some pig on a farm living a life of luxury prior to harvest. But I had just spent the day hoping to meet its wild brethren. Brethren worthy of researching for weeks on end. Potentially deadly brethren at that. That can certainly change your perspective on things.
I don’t have a problem with people that only ever see meat as something from the store or restaurant. I just think they are missing out. My goal is about not missing out on the whole picture of our blessings.
I didn’t make it out to join them, but it’s reward enough to me to see the magic of nature be seen through new sets of eyes. Sure, it’d be nice if they’d been successful, but the reward isn’t in the kill. It’s in becoming closer to the earth.