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The Way You Move

The weather this week has been incredible. From our frozen camp-side lake and snowstorms, it quickly transitioned to some of the warmest planting days I’ve experienced. Though its effects were not made known to me immediately, the sun took its toll on my body. By the time I reached my tent that night I felt dizzy and began seeing double. This followed me into the last day of the shift and was relieved by a cold lake and water.

A theme I would like to explore this season is the effect on mental health that planting fosters; both negative and positive. It is not a subject that is often discussed however when one spends hours alone with nothing but your thoughts, you come to know things about yourself you may otherwise not have known, let alone wanted to know. While I find myself being a great orator in a grand conversation in my head, my thoughts meander from money to love to heartbreak, food and home. If I have ever left home with a problem, 2 months of grueling work has solved it. I transport myself to an environment that is so incredibly difficult and different that it must shock my brain into reorginizing itself. I cannot imagine what kind of person I would be without having become a part-time tree planter.

Two glorious days off in a row. Food becomes our priority; snacks, pizza, ice cream; warm showers our oasis and the grocery store as our Mecca. You learn to love your tent and sleeping bag in a way that most people could never love a bed. Likewise you learn to love grocery stores, fast food, motel showers and dive bars in a way that those in your normal life could never understand.