By Gary Miller
This last year has been one of the busiest and most stressful I have had in a long time. It was one of those years where my hunting was minimal. I’m actually embarrassed to tell you how many times I turkey hunted. Pitiful. This year, I’m looking forward to a more active deer season. I think I’ll have more opportunities to go. Those hours in the tree stand are terribly therapeutic. In order to be successful, they force me to be patient, quiet, and even reflective.
On one property I hunt, I’ve already spotted a couple of nice bucks. My ability to be inactive will determine success. If I’m able to harvest one of these deer, the characteristic of that hunt will be patience and not settling for a lessor trophy. The risk, because in situations like this there’s always a risk, will be ending the season empty-handed. It’s a result I am familiar with. When trophy hunting, one has to decide that the journey will be the success. Not a meaningless journey, but one that will be filled with new information that could possibly lead to a buck of a lifetime.
Nevertheless, the journey will be what the story is all about. It will be the plot and theme. If I’m able to take one of these bucks, it will only be a necessary ending. Because all stories must have an end.
Your story is not the end. The end is just necessary. The end may or may not be what you thought it would be. In fact, the end will most likely be something you never expected. And it may or may not be long. It will most likely be only a short pause in what is really your story. Your story, instead, will be made up of small, seemingly insignificant, moments. It will be made up of activities and not titles.
While there may be some great accomplishment that outsiders will know you for; the most important ones in your life will see your story as something so much different. They will tell it to others not by saying “She did” but by saying “She was.” They will tell about you, describing your spirit, not your accomplishments. While you may get the trophy you are after, the story will include things like patience, compassion, determination, and love. And these will be what others will use to describe you.
Once again, however, there is risk in trophy hunting. It’s that you might come home empty-handed. But only empty-handed concerning the end. So, go ahead and reach for something rare. But don’t think, if by chance you can’t grab it, your story will be less. It won’t be. In fact, it won’t be any different. Only the end will be.
Gary Miller can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.