There is nothing like the repetitive twang of a bowstring and the soft thwack as an arrow hits a target. It’s the closest I will ever get to meditation.
I love my bow. I inherited it from my great-grandfather, a man I never met. He died before I was born. But, not too long a go my grandparents gave me his bow. It’s a relic of bygone era. It’s from 1959 and still shoots like it’s new.
It was originally a tool for gathering meat in the backwoods of northern Michigan, but I have no inclination to hunt, and instead sling arrows at a target in my backyard.
It taught me a lot.
In a practical sense, I found out how strong I wasn’t. I’m 6 foot three, and can lift an immense amount of weight, butI couldn’t barely bring the bow to full draw. My great-grandfather was just over 5 feet tall, and probably weighed 150 pounds at his heaviest, yet he could shoot the bow all day.
I had a lot of work to do.
Eventually it became easier to draw, but hitting the target was still a challenge. But that would change. I went from hardly being able to keep it on target at 3 yards to drilling the bull’s eye at 30.
It taught me focus too. I had to concentrate on the target. The smallest wobble or errant thought would send the arrows inches of its mark.
It helped with writing too. I found myself focusing on what I was doing instead of falling the bevy of distractions at my disposal.
It helped in another way too. If left to my own devices, I will write all day and night, and shooting my bow was a good reason to get outside and do something that wasn’t writing.
So hopefully, I’ll start hitting writing targets too.