Chuck and I drove out to our new treehouse in the woods last night. We deliberately didn't listen to news on the drive. No music, either. Just casual catching up, the easy conversation of almost 40 years of the deepest kind of friendship.

It was a beautiful summer evening in Iowa. Not too hot, mostly clear sky, just a few puffy thunderheads in the distance.

We drove through the lane between the farm fields, then through the gate to our land, then around the bumpy dirt road back into the darker woods.

We climbed the steps up into the trees. Finally, we are moving in some furniture: a rug, an old table that works as a place to eat and a place to write. It is starting to look and feel like home. We grin at each other.

We settle into chairs on the deck, facing the marsh. Take-out subs, wine and beer in cans. No sounds of civilization - just the birds, two hoot owls having a conversation, something that sounded like a whippoorwhill, bullfrogs bellowing in the distance. Driving in we saw a deer family - mom, dad, two leggy babies. Ducks landing on the marsh. Crickets or cicadas or whatever makes that sound of late summer; a background symphony.

And our souls settled.

The forest sounds anchored us in peace.

We barely wanted to talk, the sounds of dusk were too intoxicating.

There is something about immersing ourselves in nature that is healing, that feels mandatory these troubling days. Not an escape, but a respite. Not a running away, but a ceasing of all running for just a moment in order to catch our breath. Not a forgetting of the troubles, but a right-sizing of it all.

The trees don't care about politicians' nonsense.

The owls could give one hoot about cable news.

The deer were jumping for joy in spite of the damage we are causing the earth.

The deep wisdom of nature, of the earth, of other living creatures, spoke volumes.

And for a moment, a blissful moment in time, all was well.