This photo describes my mentality this past 4th of July weekend. This was the bridge between civilization and wilderness. While most were planning parties centered around beer, food and fireworks, I wanted to say ‘peace out’ to society and get lost in the grandeur of the mountains. My wish was granted as Thursday after work, I immediately turned my phone off and relaxed in the passenger seat as Jared and I drove north towards to the Cascades.
What followed was three days of no scheduled bliss. We were on nature’s agenda, relinquishing the thought that anything needed to get accomplished. In that space of stepping away from expectations and culture, I took a step back into myself. With no real contact to the outside world, no social media to share photos, no distractions really of any kind, I had a beautiful opportunity to be present, which I find increasingly difficult in our fast paced, overly connected world.
It’s been a difficult transition back to reality and responsibility even if I only “checked out” for 72 hours. Maybe because in the vastness of the great outdoors, I started asking myself bigger and boundless questions.
Stepping deep into nature, I am not crowded with preceptions of how life should be lived. I’m not bombarded with conflicting ideas and not concerned with society standards. I don’t care how I am perceived (obviously after spending 3 days of not showering/shaving my legs) and my overactive judgmental brain turns off while my creative musings turn on. I am stimulated by the richness of the greenery, the innate knowledge of creation and the lack of haste from the plants to the animals. There is space for me to just be. Space for my ego to drop and the capacity to be vulnerable and sit with the considerable questions that I don’t have the answers to.
Back in the city, my fresh renewed mind becomes mobbed and diluted with noise that I can’t seem to shut out. I am at a loss for time. As much as I try to contain that peaceful easy feeling during my escape, it’s slipping through my fingers and I can only clutch on to moments. How do I hold on to that rooted sense of peace that was so tangible mere days ago?
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” — Henry David Thoreau