All it takes is to awaken to the soothing sound of gentle raindrops falling on the leaves of the maples outside my bedroom window to scare away the demons still lurking about from the fevered dreams of my restless slumber the night before. (PD Capen/2015)
I was lucky to be brought up in the country, finding endless delight in exploring the natural world that surrounded my boyhood home. As the years passed, I moved about from place to place, often ending up in cities. Yet every time I found myself seeking out the wild places nearby. I am a senior now, living with my wife in a house more than 100 years old that nestles low on a finger of land on the rim of a natural gulch in a residential neighborhood in Tacoma, Washington. Although there are many houses close by, my property is an oasis of Nature. Birds flock to my wild and unruly garden, while deer regularly sit beneath a large cedar at the end of a lawn that is mostly moss. An occasional coyote or fox also visits my yard. A barred owl calls nightly from one or another tree in the forested gulch behind my house. I call back. And for a brief few minutes the two of us carry on a conversation. Here on the gulch, I think I have found the best of worlds: Nature and the city, both in one place.