Last Saturday, I tried the foot path heading north into the heart of the Cedar Swamp. Two pick-ups belonging, I assumed, to hunters, were already parked at the trailhead. As the trail gradually vanished without any trace of them ahead of me, I marveled again at people who just walk into the woods following no trail whatsoever.
The trail near Jerusalem Lutheran Church heading south into the Cedar Swamp was itself a swamp again. Standing water. In the month since I've taken that trail there has been significant rainfall, but it was as if an entire winter's snow had just melted. As I returned to my car I met a fellow exactly ten years older than me who was just starting his walk. Who had the proper foot gear for a swamp. Who said, “Yes, that place has been a swamp for 50 years.” Who said, “I love that place,” and who said he had hunted there for all those years and who then recounted several stories about the deer he had gunned down there. Now, only his son-in-law hunts with him. His children and their families, he told me, had all boarded a plane for Florida that very day. He couldn't believe they had done such a thing. “I'm not going to see them for a while,” he said. “I could kick them,” he said. “It's not about freedom,” he said, referring to a conversation with them about wearing face coverings. “It's about the virus. It’s about giving it to other people. Like me.”