WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Babbs in the Woods: Finding the quiet place

There is a quiet place, far from the rapid pace, where I can soothe my troubled mind.

I sang those lines in a collegiate concert choir many years ago, but the lyrics come back to me … and even though I’ve visited European cathedrals and abbeys and been underground in catacombs, I find that the quietest places are outdoors. In fact, being outdoors makes it easier to be indoors; it makes it easier to undergo uncomfortable test procedures, sit through excruciating banquet speeches or even get your teeth cleaned.

When was the last time you stepped outside on your front stoop, deck or patio early in the morning, and it wasn’t on your way to catch an early-morning flight?

When was the last time you heard the wind through the treetops and nothing else, except some birds singing?

When was the last time you felt connected to what you walk on?

When was the last time you dusted off your bottom because you sat in the dirt or leaves?

When was the last time you cleaned dirt out from under your fingernails?

When was the last time you looked up into the sky and saw a bird fly, not just a contrail of a planeload of people going somewhere they probably don’t want to be …

When was the last time you caught a fish and let it go?

Year in Review

This past year for me has been filled with joy and quiet moments, but also good stuff in the hectic pace of everyday life.

Business has been very good – the business of writing for the NRA, the NWTF and the NSSF, along with columns in Show Me Missouri and at GunUp.com, has kept me going and doing my favorite part of that process – meeting like-minded people who work hard to keep our hunting, shooting and fishing traditions alive and growing. The WON has grown, according to Google Analytics, by more than 280 percent in the past year. Thousands of readers visit the site each month, and hopefully take away knowledge or at least, get entertained. As a former publisher of mine called it, this little “amusement” actually means something to someone other than me. Thank you.

Katherine Browne and Tracy Barnes grouse hunt in Colorado. Believe me, at 11,000 feet, it was quiet up there. Photo by Jason Baird.

The Women’s Outdoor Media Association, a 501 (c ) (7) that my friend Deb Ferns and I put together two years ago continues to flourish, adding members (males and females) who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and do the job of promoting what’s being done for and about women in the outdoors, particularly in the areas of shooting, hunting, promoting 2nd Amendment rights, fishing and archery. In fact, it would be hard to find as many worker bees, especially working female media members, in any other outdoor communicators’ organization.

The Turkey Woods -- a few years ago. Me and Baby Boy. Photo by Jason Baird.

And the pivot point for which everything else in my life orbits, our family continues to see growth and change: a set of twin baby girls in July, a new 2nd Lieutenant – the Baby Boy who carries on the Baird family tradition since the Revolutionary War of having a member who serves in the Armed Forces – and soon, a new son-in-law, Travis Thompson, who is Camo Mom’s son, and a finer young man we could not choose for our daughter to marry. And icing on the cake – another grandchild due in April to our son and his wife.

I want to find more quiet places, not only to visit in my mind, but also to take friends and family to … a place we can share, like a turkey blind with my daughter-in-law, a ridge top with my sons and their wives during whitetail season, a mountainside with my husband on a grouse hunt, and a trout stream with the lieutenant.

And in 2011?

I want to take my daughter hunting. I want to take the twins outdoors to their new wildlife watching blind that Grandpa is going to build for them and their new little cousin, whom we call Peanut. I want to spend more time with friends and family outside than ever before, and I want to remember to go there alone – even if it’s just for an early morning cup of coffee in the dark on my deck.  You know, that quiet place.

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Georgette Wood says: January 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Great Article Barb! Sometimes we just need some reminders of those quiet places we all enjoy so much! We get into the hussle and bussle of everyday life that sometimes we get so caught up that we forget to take time out for us. Thank you for this article! I needed to hear it or read it!! LOL

  • Traci Schauf says: January 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Beautiful! I could feel the quiet…

  • Tammy Ballew says: January 1, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Barb, you always have such an eloquent way of putting words together that moves souls. Thank you. Very nice article!

  • BDronen says: January 1, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Thanks for going to the outdoor movies in SD with me last summer.
    Watching the sun set with you on the prairie was a
    highlight for me in 2010.
    Happy 2011!!!
    Sister Brenda

  • Bill Bowers says: December 31, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Wow. What an impressive, beautifully written article. And I love reading Babbs in the Woods columns, but this is one of the best.

    Please keep them coming!

    Happy New Year.

  • NorCal Cazadora says: December 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    In 2011, I want to hunt with YOU! Will this be the year it happens?

    BTW, my answer to all of those questions but the last one was “within the last three days,” for which I’m grateful.

    Happy new year, sistah!

  • Deb Ferns says: December 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    The Quiet Place…I get the vision and will need to work on incorporating it into a hectic life style more often! And how WOMA started, how its growing and our awesome members continues to be a blessing in my life…just like you Barb. It’s all through the Lord that we met and became the best of gal pals!