Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it. We need the tonic of wildness". Thoreau, a naturalist, spent two years between 1845 and 1847 leading a simple life on the banks of Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. Thoreau lived alone, but he wasn't lonely because he felt a kinship with his surroundings.
Our home is just six miles from North Creek, and four houses from Route 8. But, when the snow frosts the trees in white, it looks like we are in the middle of a wooded winter wonderland. The sunshine illumines the snow's sparkles, turning the front lawn into a field of diamonds.
Because there are no street lights, the black night sky is dotted with myriad stars. And when the moon is full, it lights up the night, casting long shadows across the field. In the morning deer tracks crisscross the field and lawn. We usually don't see the deer, but we know they have paid a visit.
A few weeks ago, when rain was pouring down, I was watching through the window the roiling, ice swollen waters of Mill Creek when I saw a gray fox cross our field to the woods.
The cover of my writing pad says, "Live Simple", an illusive ideal in the 21st century. But, living here it is possible to experience the contrast between wild and tame, modern and ancient, complex and simple and that is what makes life in the North Country special.
We are fortunate that our populated towns and villages are surrounded by the forests of the Adirondack Park where the wild things are.