Sometimes I feel insane because I cannot find what I want.
Not in any box store, especially not in Walmart (I go about once a year, and leave with the same awful feeling each time). Sometimes, not in any independent store. Shopping is not synonymous with seeking or finding.
I am most at home, most relaxed, most comfortable, most certain I may find what I am looking for in nature. Or, with the people I love.
It runs both ways, I can find myself outside, and terribly lonely, upset, wet, or itchy.
I can be in nature and see that something is not quite right, thought the landscape seems beautiful and photogenic. I have trained my eye in my home landscape, New Jersey, so well that I can detect overgrazed, denuded, and abused landscapes across North America. I have lost my innocence in that way. A well-traveled and restoration-inclined friend told after a cross country trip, "I went across the United States, and there wasn't a piece of land that was not used. Pastures, oil rigs..."
I can see browse lines and pipelines. I can see heavy footfall and etched tire tracks. I can see tiny bits of trash and charcoal. I can see where the fence was just as well as I can see where the fence is.