Walt McLaughlin

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Painting by Gene McCormick

Zen Shoveling

Broad shovel
clears away a fresh
layer of white-
not enough to plow
I walk behind it,
no sweat.
Bright sunlight
filters through trees
laden with snow.
Blue heaven, no wind.
Inhaling the chill,
I no longer have
important things to do,
like thinking about
how important it is
to have important
things to do.
This task is


Walt McLaughlin is a philosopher of wildness who writes about the natural world, being human and his backcountry excursions.  His poetry and prose have recently appeared in A Philosopher’s Stone, Adirondac, Humana Ocscura and The Apeiron Blog. He has fifteen books in print, including an Adirondack hiking narrative, The Allure of Deep Woods, and a collection of personal essays, Cultivating the Wildness Within. His most recent book is Wildness and Being Human. He regularly blogs at woodswanderer.com.