A Look At Life From a Deer Stand
The following is an excerpt from Steve Chapman’s book, A Look At Life From a Deer Stand.
Have you ever noticed that there is something about “firsts” that intrigues us all? We find ourselves spellbound by them, and for some reason we focus on them and often refer to firsts as the highlights of our lives. Consider the importance we place on the following:
First word ever spoken First grade
“First time ever I saw your face”
First car I ever owned
First man on the moon
First cup of coffee
On and on the list could go. As I pondered our affection for firsts, I began to realize that we are drawn to these initial events because they seem to have a unique ability to set the course for the journeys we take, whether good or bad.
In my 30-plus years of avid hunting, I still look back at my first morning in the woods as my most favorite outdoor experience. To this day I truly believe it put me on a path which I hope to travel as long as I’m able to get around. Maybe you have a fond memory of a similar experience that set you on the same course.
For me, the journey began when I was 14 years old. My dad was pastor of a church in the rolling hills of West Virginia, and among the members of his congregation was a gentleman named Kenneth Bledsoe. One Sunday after the service, he invited me to join him on a squirrel hunt the following Saturday. I could hardly wait for the end of the week to come. Finally, Friday came and my folks took me to his home. It sat along a rural highway on top of a ridge surrounded by gently rolling hills. His land was graced with large patches of woods and beautiful meadows. It was the middle of October and all the leaves on the trees were ablaze with incredible autumn colors. The red, brown, orange, and yellow hues seemed to glow in the bright sun with an invitation to simply stand in awe of God’s ability to paint a scene. The view that spread out before us was like a huge canvas, and we were fortunate to be living creatures on it.
I went to bed that night and quickly drifted off into a deep slumber. Little did I know that from that evening on, I would never go to sleep so easily on the night before a hunt. For the rest of my life, the anticipation of a repeat of the morning to follow would always make me anxious for the alarm to sound.
At 5:30 a.m. we were sitting down and having breakfast. It hadn’t happened often that I was up at that hour. Perhaps Easter sunrise service or leaving early to drive with my folks to Grandma’s house were the only reasons you would find me up before daylight. But there I was, wide-awake with anticipation and already dressed for the day.
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