Wilderness for the Soul

This past weekend we had originally planned on taking ourselves up to the mountains and having a snowshoe outing and finding someplace to pitch our tent.  But when the weather reports started to say that rain was in the forecast for the mountains, rather than snow, we decided to cancel our plans and save it for another time with better weather.  We think we may have made a bad decision.

The whole three day weekend we were restless and yearning for the wilderness.  So badly that when we took off for a day that was supposed to include a trip to the art museum we changed our minds in route and headed east, thinking we might go for a drive in the countryside, maybe find a short trail to wander despite the very cold windy rainy weather.  We wandered for a while but still we weren’t satisfied.  We decided to go a little further up the mountains and see if we could find a more remote back road with more trees and less people.  Which we finally did, traversing some snow patches on the gravel road till we found a spot to pull over and wander around a bit.

As I was driving up the road and I entered a section where various lush evergreens created a canopy  over the road way I had a sudden and strong wave of emotion go through me.  It was so strong that tears stung at the back of my eyes and I found myself heaving out a deep sigh.  I took a deep breath as I realized that whatever had been driving me towards the mountains and away from the city was a far deeper seated need than I had thought.  We wandered about for a little while and then eventually just gave in and headed up to the pass and the ski areas where we found a spot to play in the snow and stomp through the woods a little.  The more I was there the more my body relaxed, despite the cold, which was now cold enough to have a steady snow coming down.  I laughed and chased snowflakes with my tongue.  I stomped about in the snow in my running shoes, not caring that my feet were getting wet.  I stopped and hugged a fir tree with all my might.  And I resolved to give into the urge to get to the mountains and forests and wilderness as much as possible, no matter what the weather reports.  My spirit was in need for some deep green nourishment that can only come from time in the wilderness and from the look on my husband’s face as we played about in the snow, I believe his was as well.

We used to be able to feed that need more often and so we kept a healthy balance of city and wilderness life, but over time and finance troubles and having no one to cat-sit for us that we could actually afford, the wilderness time kept getting farther and farther from our reach.  It was leaving a noticible effect on our psyches and our spirits.

So even if it is just for a few hours or a quick overnight where the cats will be fine on their own, we agreed to try and make time in the wilderness a priority, no matter the other sacrifices that may need to be made to make it happen.  We feel the need for it like we feel the need for air and food and water and shelter.  And who are we to deny ourselves such an important aspect of life.

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2 responses to “Wilderness for the Soul

  1. oh girl i LOVE this post! i know EXACTLY what you mean – as soon as we entered the woods in scotland and went down that long long road to the castle and it was sooooo quiet and beautiful, i got so emotional and happy all at the same time. he thought it was because i had come to my homeland, but it was actually just being somewhere so peaceful that i’d needed for so long. congratulations on a beautiful memory 🙂

  2. What a wonderful reminder! I’ve been toying with the idea of driving up to the mountains for NYE, sleeping in my car, with my dog, under my open sunroof, and bring in the New Year with hot chocolate and my puppy and my Google Sky app. People I’ve told this to think I am crazy. Apparently I will freeze to death, having lost the ability to turn my car on. Ha.

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