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Mossy State of Mind - Jan 30th 2009 @ 09:48AM
by Matt Stone
I remember graduating in the spring of 1986 with a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas.  I moved to Camden, Arkansas and took a job as a timber buyer for a local timber company.  In addition to buying timber, part of my duties included supervising logging contractors that worked for us.  One logger that we had was a very good logger and an exceptionally fine man.  We developed a friendship that continues to this day.   

We were doing a selective harvest on a tract of mature hardwood timber that had some of the biggest naturally regenerated pine trees I’d ever seen in my life mixed in with them.  I’m talking about trees that measured anywhere from 36 to 38 inches DBH.  The point was the trees had seen many a winter and in the process a green moss had grown on the sides of the trees.  This logger friend mine used to say, “I sure do like cutting down these big old mossy backs”.  That phrase always stayed in my mind and always represented something that was well rooted, stable, and had the wisdom of a life time of living.                                

Being Mossy to me is not something that can only be seen on the outside.  It originates on the inside and manifests itself outwardly.   I know that old tree actually had moss growing on the bark on the outside, but I believe that tree had moss that started at its pith and grew outwardly to what was visible on the outside.                                   

I like to think of myself as that old tree.  My roots are in the soil. My parents and grandparents made their living from the land either by farming or raising cattle or other livestock on it.  I was brought up with the mindset, “Take care of the land, son and it will take care of you.”  Nature has a way of taking care of people that love and respect the land.  I’ve always thought of myself as a natural man, someone that doesn’t just live on the land but is part of it.        Unfortunately not all the work I do is outside work, I occasionally have to put on a suit to go to a business meeting or get trapped in the office.  Truth be known, I’d rather have on my Redwing boots and Levis with about a three-day beard.  You see, like that tree, at my very core I’m part of the land and I hope it’s an outward growth that can be seen in my daily life.       

But the old mossy back tree got cut down. You know that’s alright, that’s part of the natural life cycle. It made its contribution to the earth and had to move on. But I say it’s still alive today.  The pine seedlings that came up from that seed source are still growing today and the lumber sawn from old mossy back is still providing shelter for some family somewhere even today.   

My granddad has passed on. My father is still alive, but like his dad he will also pass on.  But they will ultimately live on through their offspring and the values they instilled in their children and grandchildren.  They were and are natural men and they raised natural men.  I passed on that tradition to my son who is part of the next generation of natural men.        

So the next time you see me, I may have on a coat and tie, but you can bet that like that old tree, I’ll be standing there in a mossy state of mind.  Are you a natural man or woman? Do you have a mossy state of mind?  If not, let us show you how to get connected to the land.

Naturally Yours,
Matt Stone                    
Articles
2009
      July
           Natural Regeneration
           Natural Instint
           Stewardship
           Spelunking
           THANK YOU
           WORDS
      March
           Ancillary Benefits
      January
           The Thinker
           The Game Plan
           Potential
           Natural Man
           My Shadow
           Mossy State of Mind
           Life Style
           Land
           Gobblers
           Feral Hogs
           Emerald Sea
           Dominant Male
           Buying Made Simple
           Becoming One
           Around The Bend
           Already Gone
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