By Cathy PedlerSometime after 4am I woke up. I left the tent and stepped into the beams of the setting full moon and walked a short distance to the shore of Polliwog Pond. The dawn was just beginning to show above the old hemlock stands, mist swirled above very still water, and then the loons began to call to each other in their old, melancholic song. In those few moments as I stood in the simultaneous light of the moon and the dawn and listened to the loons call, I was transported. I was in an ancient place.
That moment was pivotal for me this summer. It is hard to describe such moments and the impact they have on our thoughts and decisions. In that moment the reality of what could be lost lodged deep.
The day before, I had walked up away from the waterside site, where I was camped with colleagues and friends on a week-long Leave No Trace course, to a height of land where I recognized its old growth forest structure. Most of the trees here, and at our campsite on the shore below, were hemlock.