May Is My Month

    By this time, every year I begin to twitch badly. I just want to go. I need to go. I need to leave. I have been stuck inside, more or less for over six months. Hibernating is a drag because I cannot do the continuous sleep that bears can. I keep waking-up: “Still snow …”

    In May things change: even here in Grizzly country by the end of May the snow is gone (well, unless you go as far north as Polar Bear country). I suppose if you are underneath the sixtieth parallel, you can enjoy the green grass which bravely brakes through the melting snow at this time (or a little earlier). There are all sorts of movements: little bugs, critters, all our animal cousins start sniffing at the new spring air … Everyone’s happy for the most part: everyone who has managed to make it through the long and tiresome winter months.

    I keep looking at my tent(s), sleeping bags, binoculars, bear-bells, thermal mattresses … my walking stick; it is always here with me (behind me at the moment, by the bookshelf: it also wants to go). I chopped-up this walking stick from Pukaskwa National Park (http://www.dabrowski.ca/projects/pukaskwa/) ages ago, from what it seemed like half a dead tree hanging-out on the beach. It is a good walking stick: it is tough, light, has a perfect height in relation to my own height and it molds around my wrist as I hold it, in a most peculiar yet convenient way, making my wrist rest on it. It is ready. It is always ready.

    I am not sure when my first time in a forest was. I honestly recall forested mountains in my memory together with learning how to ride a bicycle, learning how to fish, how to swim … I grew-up spending two-three months, every year in my grandmother’s village in the Carpathian Mountains. Mountains are magical for me, in many ways.

    Therefore, even now as soon as the snow melts I begin thinking about going up-north. That is what you say here (“you’re welcome” - for teaching you Toronto slang) when you want to let people know that the city is getting to you and you are going to the bush: “I’m going-up north”. That can mean camping, fishing, cottage, Waasaga Beach, Sauble Beach – it is all “up-north”. We cannot really go south here because we would end-up in New York State and that would be a different story.

    I certainly do not want to sound like a complete anti-social psychopath (I know I have said before that I trust other species of animals more than some humans). I like cities as well: the concrete jungle. I manage. The multitude of people, cultures, personalities – that is what makes cities fun (in my opinion) but in the forest it is more than fun. I never have to look over my shoulder; it is always safe. Well, sometimes I do because these raccoons nowadays are big thieves: I remember one running off with a bag of bread. While it was running, slices of bread were falling out of the bag and I was chasing after it and at the same time picking-up the slices of bread from the ground; all this while my buddy was in tears, laughing …

    I feel at home in the forest. It is the one place where I feel like I can truly rest: my body, as well as my soul. I love being in the forest. I love all the little bugs, chipmunks, squirrels, foxes, wolves, bears, birds, fishes and trees. They are part of my family and I always feel welcomed amongst them; I always long to return.

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Comments 12 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Do you go in bear country, unarmed?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I have my walking stick. Mr. Will and a much-loved hunting-knife.

I am thinking about the hunting license. I have friends who hunt and I think I would like to pick-up the skill. I like to cook too and I think they would go hand-in-hand.

Regarding bears I am not worried. I respect them and they respect me. We understand each other. The raccoons are more of a pain.

Thank you for dropping by.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

I see your story has Will by the creative short hairs; we will be treated to a bear v man story, I'll bet my last piece of jerky on it!

Lovely words, My Happy. I am exactly the same: hate cities, most of the inhabitants...but in the UK it's hard to escape. Have a great time "Up North." Bob


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

I live where there is very little cold weather but each year summer is later and later coming. February is our spring and her the middle of may I had to put on a jacket this morning, although it is nice out now. We are just missing all that global warming I know that...not that I mind.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr Diogenes, thank you for stopping by and since you mentioned something about a bear story I though I would offer one. I just wrote it quick (since it was just lingering around my memory anyway) and just posted it. Nothing too crazy but it's a bear story alright.

Cheers!


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Hello Happy,

Being a city girl I never had much fun camping, but I love the mountains (for the fresh air and the less heat). I have many friends and my son as well who will rather go camping than to a 5 star hotel - a question of taste I suppose.

Los Angeles is in many ways a blessed city; just 1 hour away from the mountans and less than 15 minutes away from the ocean (depending on traffic and where you actually live in the city). We can ski in the morning and go swiming in the afternoon - traffic permiting:-)))


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Grizzly country -- Ontario? Puhlease!! You find them in Western Canada and most of them in the Rockies. Black bears in the east, sure. Grizzlies, not. Big difference there, Happy. Here, from Wikipedia:

"In Canada, there are approximately 25,000 grizzly bears occupying British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut."

Other than this tiny misrepresentation, I share your love of the great outdoors and regret that arthritis put an end to my back-packing days (in REAL grizzly country.) Enjoy yourself. Lynda


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mrs. Lynnley, thank you for stopping by. I am not going to comment on global warming, it's all pretty crazy - it hasn't stopped raining here for weeks almost. Cheers!

Must be nice to be in Los Angeles, Petra! I envy your geographical location at times - you're so close to San Francisco too ... been wanting to go there for a while. All the best!

Mrs. Lynda! How are? Thanks for dropping by. The "Grizzly country" comment (on my part) has a story behind it.

I do call Canada "Grizzly country" sometimes. During the dictatorial regime in Romanian (prior to 1989), the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu started importing Grizzley bears from Canada. Our black and brown bears were diminishing in numbers so the dummy dictator, brought-in Grizzleys. Nobody was used to the bigger and more aggressive bears. There were many cases of people attacked by bears, fighting them, etc.

For me, ever since I was a kid, Canada was the "Grizzley country". Cheers!

P.S. I will be camping in the real Grizzly country as soon as July rolls around - got my flight to Kellowna already!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I hear you, Mr. Happy - there you can also hop onto some tree - not an Orange Tree, though.

I have been on trips, mostly with people - I don't know if I can manage being in the wild completely alone - some creatures frighten me too much - but I can understand your longing.


Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

I am definitely with you on the rest your body and soul and the trust of animals more than humans. I think it brings me back to where I belong inside if I should forget what wonderful things mother earth has to offer. I also know what your talking about with the raccoons, they can be a pain but wonderful creatures.

Have an incredible trip


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I hope you have a wonderful trip to BC. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I'm jealous. Say hello to my mountains for me. Lynda


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I enjoyed reading this hub. The image of you chasing the raccoon is especially funny. May is my month too. I was born in May.LOL

Thank you for the cheerful read!

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