The Pursuit Part Two of a Potential Series

Ingredients secured, including bean options for the next batch of chili. Loneliness cometh – at least as a topic.

Almost every property out here in the woods west of Nashville, Indiana, has at least one “No Trespassing” sign, if not several. Some make sure that also includes no hunting and even no fishing – not even casting from the public road. The best, for now, might be the subtle one posted about fifty feet up the lane to a house that says, “Don’t Feed the Bear.” That’s after the initial warnings and posts. And I like that – it’ll be fun to come up with my own subtle “stay out” message. Then there’s the neighbor with the typical “keep out” sign under which is a simple sign that says, “Armed Response.” That sounds more terrifying than a bear.

Now, there are no bears in these parts nowadays, if there ever were. There are other creatures, great and small, including coyotes, foxes, deer, vultures, eagles, hawks, owls, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, pileated woodpeckers, crows, skunks, and two different types of venomous snakes. Of that list, on this property there have been spotted squirrels, deer, hawks, vultures, pileated woodpeckers, crows, and foxes. Within a couple of miles of this cabin there has been evidence of, sightings, or stories of encounters with all of the others except the second of the snakes. One is enough.

All of that reminded me, briefly, of the encouragement by one of my neighbors (Jim) to name my cabin. That is something to think about. There are lots of places up and down the main road here that have signs posted of their name – such as Pinehenge, Woodpecker Ridge, Coyote Creek, for a few – while others (including Jim’s) have signs less obvious, like on the porch or even inside. The thought of naming this cabin in the woods has crossed my mind every now and then, but without any name that grabbed me.

Now as to the subtle “stay away” sign, the best so far – so as not to completely rip off the neighbor with the ”bear sign” – might be to ask the visitor not to feed something because it makes something bigger mad. The problem with that is the sign may be too long and people fall asleep before they read it all, missing the message. And it would cost too much to make. With my noted tendency to form incomplete sentences at times, maybe something will pop. Maybe, “Don’t feed the bobcat – it makes the neighborhood bear mad.” That’s ten words and under… Or, leave out “neighborhood” and rip away at the neighbor’s creativity.

In naming the cabin, there was a sign here when we moved in that said, “Curly Shingles Cabin,” but there are several cabins on Curly Shingles Road. The dogs or something about the dogs is an option. The position down the hill or the slope of the land could bring a name. There are plenty of trees that could be candidates – yellow poplar (or tulip), oak, redbud, dogwood, beech, yellowwood, others, including one, small, lonely white pine. Lonely – wasn’t this about the pursuit of loneliness?

Yes, the pursuit.

As one becomes more accustomed to their surroundings in the woods, loneliness could sit in, but, for me, perchance, it’s more acceptance of solitude for a large, but reasonable, percentage of the time and having satisfaction with that. Being “alone” is not synonymous with “loneliness.” Sure, there can be those times when one desires the company of someone who can talk back and engage in conversation – the dogs are good to a point, then, no… So, maybe what’s pursued is life as accepted, including some time alone in the beauty of the cabin’s surroundings. If that’s loneliness to others, so be it. So, let’s see – cabin name, subtle sign…

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