I refuse to leave the range without all of my equipment, or at least without giving a valiant effort to find all of my equipment. So, I climbed the grassy hill behind the hay target bales and went down into the woods to find my arrow.
To put this into perspective, you must realize I grew up woods-walking. As a child, my family went on many camping trips, and I loved to grab my compass, binoculars, and maybe a water bottle and just go exploring in the wooded areas. I loved it out there back then, and I must say, that feeling came back that day at the archery range.
After a few minutes in the woods, I honestly didn't even care if I found my arrow -- I was just enjoying being in the woods, period. It's hard to describe the feeling when you get out there, deep enough that "civilization" isn't readily visible past the tree trunks. You feel almost at one with the natural world. Life isn't as complicated as it seems anymore. Everything in nature just works and works well and you feel a part of it; you reconnect with your natural roots. I know it's silly, but even just that short distance in the air seemed cleaner, sounds were more vibrant, everything was more alive!
I missed that feeling, and I didn't know how much until I got out there again. I had even slightly forgotten I was in that area for one of my favorite hobbies -- archery. As far as my mind was concerned for the moment, the range didn't exist, I was there to relax in the woods.
As I climbed around, over, and under fallen tree trunks, brush, and other forrestry, guess what I found? My arrow, sticking up out of the ground! I pulled it out and shoved it into my quiver.
Most, after finding what they went in to find, would walk back out and go shoot. I ended up wandering around more, enjoying the sights and sounds (and who knows, I thought maybe I'd find another arrow someone else lost to add to my quiver -- my friend that was with me at the range had lost one a few days prior, so I thought I may find that one too).
I almost didn't want to leave, but eventually I climbed back out and emerged on the range victorious in my search and with a returning appreciation for nature. I found myself hoping my arrow would overshoot again so I would have a reason to go back in...but alas, it didn't.
So what is the point to this post? To give you some advice: Get out in nature, get in the woods. Reconnect with the world you live in and enjoy it. Simplify your lives -- turn off the phone, the laptop, and any other gadget you've got and go exploring for a while. Touch something other than a touchscreen -- a tree trunk, a bush, a boulder. Look at something other than a glowing LCD -- a blue sky outlined by the tops of trees, an animal nibbling on a leaf, possibly? Doesn't that sound more appealing? So...stop reading this blog and get out there! Feel free to post your own experiences in the comments.