I was drawn to wilderness from the first time I saw images on some old 1960’s Wild Kingdom TV show. Things looked a bit sketchy out there. Like you were never exactly sure what would happen next.
That appealed to me.
I didn’t get very old before I figured out that most people seemed to live life in a straight jacket. Maybe it was created for them, or it could have been of their own making. But things looked so predictable and depressing.
Wilderness, was it a way out?
At 16 my mom got cancer and passed away rather suddenly. She was my stable person in the world. I was lost. 30 days on an Outward Bound program in the Sawtooth Mountains saved me.
The wilderness taught me strength.
Returning to civilization afterwards was…difficult. I ran away soon after never to return home. There were rough times. When things got really bad I escaped to a wild place.
Wilderness gave me hope. My time there taught me that no matter what, things would be alright.
For a time I lived an idealists dream, thinking I was helping to save the world, only to end in bitter disappointment.
When that ended I was left with a hole in my soul bigger than the grand canyon. And it was Sahale Camp that saved me.
Wilderness taught me that you shouldn’t take things so fucking seriously.
I have dug myself in many holes in my relationships with others. I escaped to wilderness to find peace. Finally wilderness taught me some humility.
Sometime just knowing that there are wild places out there is the only thing that keeps me going.
There are times when I am deeply disappointed in humans and worried about the havoc they wreak. I worry about losing wild places.
Now I understand that wilderness is more than a place. Its a feeling, an attitude, a freedom, a willingness and a determination.
Deep down inside I know these are things I will never lose.