When I was 10, my parents acquired a 70-acre, mostly wooded slice of paradise. And while our prior residences had big yards and afforded me access to creeks and farm ponds full of bass, bluegill, tadpoles, and turtles, it wasn’t until we moved to what local old timers’ referred to as “Pikeville Holler” that I began to find myself in the forest. I was tempted to say “lose myself” there, but that’s not really what happened. When I would stuff a PB&J and a few fig newtons into a tattered backpack with my canvas creek shoes and trek into the shadow of the hardwoods, something simultaneously came alive and settled in me. There was no agenda, no goal. There was only to explore. 

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