There is one person for whom living in the north woods is not merely a matter of a brief rest from modern life, but of life itself. Our name is and always will be: Kevin. There are no Billys, friends and acquaintances call me, but there has always been Kevin – and every minute spent in the woods is a time to listen, but more importantly to feel, to breathe. I owe Kevin, I am always reminded.
He is my lion, my every need stroked, my support offered, my fear presented as not only understood but offered and admired and indeed, shared with joy and care. The cool firmness of my arms, my worn-in clothes, my muttered chats with him, are all aimed at helping him feel safe, how not to let life happen to him. I am the people you tell when you have nothing to say to someone else, a bag of crumbled betel nuts and a single long lens into which, over four years, I have taken to holding my thoughts. I am just how I thought I would never be, an unlikely accidental activist.