Perceptions: Walk the wild slide
This week, I strapped on my backpack and wandered into the wilderness of Point Reyes to soak up some nature. Thanks to my faulty rain gear, I absorbed far more than I intended to.
My wife and family think I have a death wish. They expect hypothermia or a cougar or a serial killer to make short work of me. They assume that I take desperate measures to be alone because I enjoy my own company so much. The truth is exactly the opposite. I seek solitude to escape myself.
Something mysterious happens when I am alone in nature. It takes the better part of a day, but eventually, I quit looking at the scenery and simply become part of it. I stop seeing the landscape as a picture and find myself within the frame. My illusion of being the center of the universe evaporates like smog and I settle contentedly into my place as a piece of the handiwork.
I believe that in some mysterious way, I am made in the image of my Creator, but this does not negate the fact that I am also a piece of creation. I may be within my rights to refer to God as father, but it is also appropriate to call the sky my brother and the sea my sister.
There are times when I am frightened out of my wits out there all by myself. I have found this to be good medicine. To enter Wonderland, Alice must become very small. To be small is to be vulnerable. To be small and vulnerable is to remember to cry out. This is the beginning of wisdom.
I always return from these wild walks feeling far more civilized.