When the weather starts to change, when the wind grows crisp and the air seems to brighten, I want to feel it all. Even with my greatest attempts at home, it all seems to happen too fast. There is too much time spent in front of machines and far too little time spent experiencing life...nature...place. Sometimes it takes a 7 hour drive into the South's oldest and largest forest to feel the sweet respite of the wild. Mount Ida, Arkansas is the quartz crystal capitol of the U.S., and it was there we marked our destination for one week, on the homestead of friends.
We were waking with the sun, chasing every ounce of daylight that we could. The smell of coffee by the fire and the sound of the icy crunch of the ground underneath still lingers with me. It's funny how those things can stick with you, or maybe they are moments so perfect we cling to them so that we may relive them over and over.
Our daily chores included splitting wood for the fire and collecting water at the nearby spring. Oliver, my 4 year old son, delighted in the magic of the water dispensing from the mountainside. We sat beside the creek and feasted on apples while he hopped across the rocks in the chilly waterbed. There was no need for gadgets or toys here.
On the homestead we trekked to the location of the quartz mine. Each with a tool in hand, we dug for our crystalline treasures. The sun seemed to guide us and reflect their beauty. Here, I felt like I could breath; deep in the woods where the only sound was the rustle of some unknown creature in the distance and the high pitch tap-tap of discovery.
As our week became days and then hours, we started to question what it meant to really live. Here there was no obligation other than to just be. To really be present where you are is a task that in my normal day-to-day seems to get rushed over. Weeks pass and I've hardly noticed the color of the tree in my own backyard. What we were doing here and what we were feeling seemed so vital to our existence and to our souls it was no wonder we clawed and ran our way to it. Our bones were re-fleshed. Our challenge is now not to relive those moments over and over, but to seek them out wherever we are and however we can, our own sort of wilderness, to cling to the wildness within ourselves.
- Lindsey Smith
LINDSEY SMITH is the founder of Makers Workshop, a website focused on quality handcrafted goods and the skills passed down from generation to generation. With a need for days spent in the wilderness and the outdoors, it is a belief that all things can be made beautifully, simply, and with great function. "We pride ourselves on seeking out the best in Made in America and traditional craftsmanship." Lindsey's many years in the visual styling industry and buying offer her a unique perspective into this world.