Kentucky Wilderness Refuge

Sebastian was a middle aged systems analyst with a security clearance that worked for the F.B.I.  Sebastian knew a lot about the government’s controversial Top Secret Programs. He was aware that the government had A.I. bots listen in on Americans phone conversations. He was aware that the government equipped Cell Phones with explosives to sell to terrorists. He was aware that the government built a computer system capable of predicting where and when a crime would occur. Sebastian knew too much. He had information that people would kill for. Which is why Sebastian grew increasingly worried about his personal safety.

He would drive to work worried that people were following him. He would speak on the phone worried that his conversation was being recorded. He was worried that government agents were reading his emails. He was worried about his social media accounts being scanned. He was worried about his medical history being hacked. He was worried about the FBI and what it was becoming.

Sebastian’s paranoia increased until one day, after 20 years of working for the F.B.I., he quit his job, sold his house, packed his bags and headed for the woods in rural Kentucky. On arrival he burnt his Cell Phone, Drivers License and Laptop in a fire. Its smoke rose towards the stars to choke the heavens. He then danced around the fire in his campground, liberated from the technology that he had helped design. He deleted himself from the system. He was a ghost with no identity. He was finally free.

The next day he hiked 20 miles deep into Daniel Boone Forest with nothing more than the necessary essentials in his backpack. He wanted to live his life in its most primitive and natural state as God had intended. On his journey to his newfound home he traversed the landscape across rivers and through valleys with huge rock formations overhead. Everywhere he went he saw God’s creations. Every crevice, valley, arch and stream injected him with a sense of calm and peace. Here he was safe. This is his destiny.

Sebastian hadn’t told the FBI about his plans to quit. He kept his epiphany and visions secret, so they were caught off guard by his sudden disappearance. They were unable to locate him through his credit transactions, cell phone or computer. It’s as if he had suddenly disappeared. A worrying sign. They searched for him everywhere, but found nothing. Sebastian had disappeared without a trace.

Sebastian wasn’t worried however. Out here in the wilderness, deep inside Daniel Boone Forest, a sudden wave of elation and comfort had ensnared him and permeated throughout his being. Sebastian finally felt complete and whole. He ran among the streams and rocks in a jubilant manner feeling more free than he had felt elsewhere. Here in the wilderness, away from human eyes, Sebastian had rediscovered himself.

Several miles from Sebastian was the scenic rural village of Slade Kentucky where rumors arose of a wild, homeless, madman that lived in the Daniel Boone Forest living on scraps and in makeshift shelters. Year later that shaggy weather-beaten man appeared at a local diner. His hair was long and unkempt, his hands were calloused and worn, his clothes were ragged and torn. He had a wide grin on his face and a gleam in his eye. His stench filled the room with a putrid odor that left the patrons without an appetite. Sebastian hadn’t spoken English for several years. He wanted to tell them about his life in the woods. He wanted to tell them that he was a former F.B.I. agent that worked as a computer analyst. He wanted to tell them about why he chose to live in the woods. Instead he just stood there, stinking up the room unable to utter a syllable because he had been silent for so long.

The owners came out and shuffled Sebastian out of the restaurant telling him to never come back. Telling him that he was no longer welcome there because his stench was scaring the customers away. Sebastian became red in the face and so angry that he finally spoke for the first time in years. “To hell with you, I’m going back to the woods where I am at peace.”

The Red River

Traveling the Auxier Ridge Trail
Through the Kentucky wilderness
Surrounded by woods, streams and valleys
Across narrow paths

I breathe unpolluted air
And enjoy an untarnished
Serene landscape.

This sanctuary
Comforts my mind
And frees my soul
From the chains of civilization

Allowing me to enjoy
Simple sensations
During my walk of
Natural pleasures.

This sacred land was
Forged before civilization
From erosion and rapid rivers
Before mankind decided to conquer
The natural world

These rivers will still flow
In the distant future
Forever deprived of human eyes
Because we never embraced
Or cared for
The mother that
Birthed us.

Daniel Boone Forest

Walking in the Kentucky wilderness
Surrounded by nature
Your soul feels at peace
Your mind at ease
Your senses heightened.

The flow of the river
The flutter of the butterfly
The heartbeat of the forest
Echoes over the valleys and
Waterways across this
Sacred forest and I find myself
Lost in a trance
Treading a pathway
Closer to nature
And God.