Life is a roller coaster. For some of us, it’s an exciting ride with twists and turns that leave us overflowing with joy by the time we get off. For others, it’s a terrifying journey, where no attempt at salvation will protect you from what lies ahead, and you’re left puking all over yourself, and probably the people around you.
Most of us live somewhere in between. Life has a way of taking you through periods of excitement, and periods of terror. The problem is, you can’t just throw up your arms and ask to get off the ride.
Before this blog was born, I fell in love. For the first time in my life, I saw a future with someone. So much so that when he asked me to marry him I said, “yes.”
And then one day, not long after his proposal, he just walked out without offering any explanation. Poof. Just packed his things and left, refusing to ever speak to me again.
Life. It happens to the best of us.
When one endures an event like this, it rocks our foundation. I had a choice. I could let it ruin me, or I could learn and grow from it. With some effort and hard work, I chose the latter.
The first month was the hardest. I felt completely lost. I couldn’t find a moment of peace, no matter what I did, or where I was.
Until one day, I found myself standing in the woods, staring into the deep sapphire reflection of Crater Lake.
This was the first moment I’d had in the midst of this immense pain and chaos that I felt at peace.
I’ve always been a child of the wilderness, but it was at that moment that I became distinctly aware of how profound Mother Nature’s grasp on me is. She reached out, wrapped her comforting arms around me, and told me that everything was going to be all right.
Before I knew it, I was hugging her trees right back, splinters be damned.
From that moment, I made a promise to make my relationship with her more prominent in my life. It’s clearly one that is meaningful and reciprocal; it doesn’t get much healthier than that, does it?
For the next several months I took steps to building this relationship, even going so far as moving from my home city of Portland, Oregon to a cabin in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, to explore a whole new area of wilderness. Out of the city and into the wild (though I don’t recommend this for everyone).
The intensity of comfort I experienced surrounded by nature surprised even myself. The support I had from the people in my life was nothing short of amazing. Even so, there’s no match for that feeling of deep connectedness one experiences being completely alone in the wilderness; the ultimate paradox that only Mother Nature can provide.
I’ll be getting back on that roller coaster now, ready and prepared for the next turn ahead.
Have you ever experienced a pivotal moment in the wilderness? I’d love to hear about it.