By Don Mallicoat- While sitting in the doctor’s office one day I was thumbing through an out of date magazine about homes and home improvement. Besides the obvious thought that I needed to find a doctor that subscribed to outdoor magazines, my eyes caught an article about one of the latest trends in homes, meditation rooms. It is described as a place of “spiritual sanctuary” to get away from the stresses in life. The room is arranged using feng shui (Chinese for expensive furniture) to provide flow and energy in the room. The room described even had an altar with spiritual symbols as a focal point.
This got me thinking: What would my meditation room be like? My altar would be an open fireplace with a long mantel to place my spiritual symbols on. Not one of those gas log jobs. I’m talking about build your own fire with kindling, matches and oak logs. It must be part of my prehistoric DNA. There’s something about a crackling fire that relaxes to spirit.
I know what spiritual symbols would sit on the mantel. There’s the first quail my son shot when he was 12. I had it mounted with the empty 20-gauge shell he used to kill it. It symbolizes a new generation of hunter and memories over the years. Next to that would be a picture we took that same day of my dad, my son, and me giving thumbs up before we left the house. Also on the mantel would be an old Zebco 33 reel that belonged to my dad. That’s the only kind he used over all the many years we fished together. It symbolizes my introduction to the outdoors and memories of small farm ponds and slab crappie at Weiss Lake. Of course there’s got to be a couple of old leather dog collars lying on the mantle with reminders of days in the field with all the bird dogs. I love what dogs add to the sport and can’t imagine that I would hunt without them.
There’s always a framed picture hanging over the mantle. There is one called “Watchful Monarch” of a ruffed grouse standing on an aspen log that might work. But I think the one that best fits the meditation room is hanging over my office desk right now, “Setters at Sunset”. The name pretty much says it all.
That takes care of my altar. Now how should I feng shui the room to give it flow and energy? In one corner would lean the Winchester Model 42 .410 that Uncle Jim gave me. There’s no telling how much game that little gun killed in its lifetime. Uncle Jim hunted everything with that gun with the exception of dove when he stepped up to a 20-gauge. It was in pretty bad shape when he gave it too me and I had it reconditioned. I’ve only shot it a couple of times since. I don’t know; it just seems sacrilegious for me to use it after the life it has lived.
Of course there will be some fishing gear around. A couple of Dad’s old rods (with Zebco 33’s) are still in my possession. I wish I still had his old metal tackle box to sit with it. Uncle Bob’s old fly rod will stand in one corner. It’s an old Wright & McGill graphite 4-weight rod and I have no idea what he used it for. Uncle Bob would buy stuff he thought he needed and never use it. He liked to fish but mostly on lakes for white bass and crappie.
There is a hall tree by the door to hang hats on: blaze orange, camouflage, and others which rarely worn. One hook would hold my hunting vest. It’s got to be there so I can heft it every now and then during the off-season and sort through the pockets. Mingled in with the 20 gauge shells and dog whistle are pieces of leaves and tree branch from last season. I’m sure there’s probably a grouse or quail feather still in the game pouch. Just to remember times past and anticipate days ahead.
That will pretty much get me started in my Meditation Room. I can add to it as time goes along. On second thought, maybe I don’t need a meditation room. I’ve already got one. As I shrug into the hunting vest, slip the gun out of the case, and as the dogs whine and tails beat against the side of the box this winter I will realize I’ve got the greatest “Spiritual Sanctuary” of all. It’s nature’s feng shui called the outdoors.