Saturday, November 26, 2016
We aren't out of the woods yet
Thank God for that. Okay, I'm a bit twisted, but hear me out. The normal usage of “out of the woods,” means things like out of danger, difficulty, trouble, and so on. So if someone is out of the woods, they are now safe.
To me that's totally backwards. The woods are my safe place. There's nothing like the warm embrace of a deep dark forest. There's trees for shelter and heat. Water is usually nearby. There's edible plants and animals. It's a cornucopia of goodness. With a few simple tools all a person's basic needs can be taken care of. With the right knowledge and a bit of luck you won't even need the tools. You could start with a sharp rock and end up with a comfortable cabin with a warm fire burning in the hearth.
If you are coming out of the woods that must mean your coming into the city. Cities are full of rules, dangerous people, and tightly controlled resources. If you are willing to play by those rules one can survive and maybe even thrive. It's the price we pay for things like science, high art, literature, and all that jazz. Civilization has its perks, but it does separate us from our roots and a simple easy way of living. Almost all of us pay the price because that's about the only way to survive in the modern world. Few even feel their chains.
Now I know living in a more primitive world had its downsides. There's a reason we gave up on that way of life. Actually, we probably didn't have a choice. The greater populations sustainable by agriculture and civilization overwhelmed more primitive societies by numbers alone.
Be that as it may, the woods still call to me. They are my happy place. Thank goodness they are right out my door.
Of course, there's another idiom that makes more sense to me: Head for the hills. Good advice in troubled times. If there's a lot of woods there in those hills, even better.