Opening Day

I know I've posted about opening day before; it's a marvelously early morning at our home for the guys and one I can blissfully sleep in because I have no one to worry about cooking for. 

I did, however, wake to the sounds of what normally would be attributed to a 4th of July evening or a Civil War battlefield.  In fact, that's exactly what it made me think of - the families who could hear the sounds of gun fire in nearby fields; which, of course, made me think of the Star Spangled
banner and how some of the lines came about.

That thought thread led to what is the remnants in our society of men of Valor:  Hunters and Opening Day of Whitetail Deer season.   I live in a household of testosterone and it may have taken me years, but I've come to a deep and abiding love and understanding of what it means to be a Gentleman and that includes guns and hunting.  This post from Catholic Gentleman says it much better than I can so PLEASE take the time and read it here.

Their wives must have been so excited!!

My husband didn't grow up with hunting.  According to his father, he grew up with 'too much hunting' so he never did.  My own family did the 'deer season' sorta-hunting and that's pretty much it - guns were locked and put away (I don't even think they were cleaned) and not discussed again until next year.  All that history left my sweet husband and I piecing together traditions and understanding about hunting all on our own which is a steep learning curve and difficult for two people who hardly even had two pennies to rub together, much less outfit self and kiddos with regalia.  There was nothing from our families to pass on to our kids, no stories over gun cleaning about how he learned to clean a gun from grandpa, no tall tales to share, no deer camp regalia to claim, no lore to pass along. 

It occurred to me this morning as I was peaceful in my bed (until the gunfire, that is) how comfortable I am with my kids and husband hunting and how eagerly I want to support that.  It is a tale as old as time:  men go off to protect and provide for their families.  There is something entirely manly and valorous about this act.  It's not just going out for 'sport' nor is it always about the pride of a big point count (but I will say that's always a great bonus). 

Hunting is about manliness and providing.  It is about connection to nature and thinning of the herd.  It is about love and care for hearth and home.  It is about delicious meat in the canner or freezer.  It is about tradition and stories.  It is about camaraderie and joy.  I am sad that it took us so long to get here, but overjoyed that it finally has.  I truly feel pity for those who have lost out on the tradition and fully support anyone who, like us, is attempting to piece together what it means to be man.  Consider yourself  invited to come over and have a chat while we eat some venison sausage. 


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