The words of wilderness ranger Andrew Post:
why would anyone want to spend a season in the backcountry? sure… the scenery is beautiful, the air is fresh, the day-to-day objectives are simple, and songbirds are often the first sounds every morning… but why does any of that matter?
well, for me it reaffirms the strength of the word ‘need.’ we throw it around casually but when you’re living disconnected and self-sufficient, it heightens your appreciation for things easily taken for granted.
i’ve found the natural world to be my best mirror. “i came from this… i’m part of this… i AM the wildlife.” nothing in this world happens independently. out here you tap into that connection with everything happening at once… as one… any change sending proportional ripples across the entire canvas.
instead of getting too spiritual or philosophical, let’s put it this way: we see things as we are. everything we see in fact shows us different aspects of ourselves. are we overcome by beauty? are we scared? do we learn? are we called to touch? smell? taste? share?
every new experience, person, and place shows us new aspects of ourselves. similarly, when we return to familiar experiences, people, and places… they show us how much (or little) we’ve changed.
so i guess what i’m looking forward to most this season is learning more about my connection to this magical, swirling sphere of life that feels so akin to a wakeful dream. it comes with sacrifice… but by strengthening the connections within myself i can better serve as a mirror for others… sharing with them what they may not get the opportunity to experience firsthand… while i simultaneously learn from them.