Wednesday, June 11, 2014

unsettling isolation

As we snaked our way through Roosevelt National Forest, climbing to soaring heights, deeper into the woods, an uneasiness poured through me.  We were so far from everything and everyone.  I spotted only a handful of strangers sharing the lonesome road our mountain cabin was on.  There was nothing but us, the trees, quick rushings of a river and birdsong.  Isolation was what I sought but once I had it I began to second guess my wishes.

During my childhood we would camp in the backcountry.  I didn't realize that my family were such rugged backcountry campers until my adulthood.  But I knew I loved it.  Our family was one with the woods, mountain air and campfire.  Washing the river rock off of ourselves from a solar heated camp shower that hung from the trees, we were a part of the earth.   No one was around for miles.  As a child and early teen I never gave the isolation and the distance from civilization a second thought.  I enjoyed the moment.

But now, when every vile, horrific moment is at a click of a button or highlighted during the first ten minutes of the morning news-I am aware of things I wish I was not.  Awareness-one of the sad misfortunes to acquire when one becomes an adult.  I walked into the warm knotty pine glow of our cabin with hesitation hovering over me.  Aggravated with myself I realized my fault, the lack of trust between me and the unknown, between me and the silence.  I didn't know my one short term neighbor across the way nor did I know the area that well and the quick whispers of "what ifs" began to rush through my head.

As the day faded into night I slowly settled into place. I began to focus on the grand beauty of what was before me.  I was not afraid anymore.  I opened the door and welcomed the cold mountain air and whatever else it brought with it.  I nestled into the unknown, the isolation and silence and finally after many years my mind was clear and free of the world's happenings, swept away with the gentle rapids of the river.

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