Thinking like a Forester

Today I was planning to write about long-term vision.

Simon Sinek calls it the infinite game. He gave a speech at Google that you can find easily. Seth Godin just described Olive Trees on his podcast Akimbo. Olive trees live for millennia, and don’t produce much for years after being planted. Patience.

Instead, check out this photo from a forest. It’s tough to see the Forester, but he’s somewhere in this photo. At the end of this post, I’ll let you know where he is.

Lady and Penny are the two draft horses.
Haliburton Forest

Anyway, this photo comes from a magical place. They call it The Living Forest. In the Ontario Highlands, very close to Algonquin park, you’ll find Haliburton Forest.

I was fortunate enough to spend 5 months of my life there, and it was during that transitional and ever so complicated coming-of-age at the end of my teenage years. I learned so much, and the memories still move me. I went hungry for a spell and learned to appreciate tea without sweetener. I hand washed my laundry. I heard timber wolves howl during the long winter nights, when the snow shined like no other under a clear moon.

I collided with people from different cultures, with different ideas. It was humbling. I failed and fell down a few times – and still have a literal scar from one of my mistakes. Isn’t that how we grow? I could have stayed home that winter and kept playing video games (which I played anyway at Haliburton Forest for the first couple months because I brought my Xbox with me… which is a an entire question in itself of why would I do such a thing when there was so much around me to do in reality?).

I guess what I’m getting at is that it was an adventure. Going to Haliburton Forest was risky and didn’t make much sense directly for a career, and it slowed me down from graduating college. But the lessons I learned there were worth an incredible amount. It was the real deal stuff that I didn’t get in the formal classroom.

So what’s your adventure? Where are you taking a risk and stepping out a little more than makes sense to most people?

And how’s the patience with the photograph?

Did you find the Forester?

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You can just barely see the tip of his hat over the rump of the black horse.

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