“I dream of wandering”
That was the simple, unpolished statement written upon my paper heart at Camp Widow. Sarah and I were a large part of the message release there…constructing the large heart, cutting out all of the smaller ones, mounting it in the banquet area, and being the first two to place our torn dreams in front of the rest of the campers. I knew what was to be asked by Michele, well in advance, and so when the time came, I had my answer swiftly.
I enjoy “wandering”. I love finding new places, whether on the road, or trudging through knee-deep mud. Very often, I will pick a dot on the map, and head “that direction” in the most wandering way possible. For me, the journey is truly part of the adventure.
But there has always been something holding the wandering back. For years, it was worry about Megan’s health, keeping me from disappearing into myself. Shelby being young, I worried about her feeling disconnected from me if I would depart for a few days. There is always the constant “should I be doing this” playing in my mind with regards to money, and even when we take a long drive on a weekend together, I worry about the dogs being cooped up in their kennel for too long.
Without those worries, I would gladly step onto the Appalachian Trail for a few months. I have no worry about my abilities, weather, food, shelter or bears. I have a healthy respect for nature, being in it, and being a part of it, but there is no fear or worry. I’ve woken up to a beautiful, warm sunrise on a mountaintop, and I’ve had sleepless, rainy, cold nights deep in a muddy ravine, and I loved them equally. I’ve had a bear actually sniff me as I lie in my hammock, and my first thought was not “Oh no”, but rather “this is so awesome”
But my forays into nature are always but a day or two. The pressures of life always creep back in, and I walk out and back into the civilized world, resplendent with all of its traffic, mortgages, electric bills, and jobs. Responsibilities. Instead of an equivalent healthy respect for the aspects of day-to-day life, I have fear and worry.
So really, my statement at the message release could easily be expanded.
I dream of wandering without worry. I dream of wandering into the next day, week, or year without fear of what could happen. I dream of the comfort that should come with ALL of the wandering, not just that which takes place outside. I dream of wandering into my dining room, passing by Megan’s ashes, and not resenting losing her. I dream of wandering into work, and enjoying the fact that the skills and abilities I have gained over the years have put me in a good career, rather than being “stuck”.
But still, I dream of wandering into the woods, knowing that life is not something to run away from, but rather, something to be proud of returning to without worry.