There are many reasons for which I love the outdoors.
Taking a break from daily life and spending time alone are obvious ones. But there is also something much more important to me: letting go. I tend to worry a lot in general, about the future, about my choices in life, about money, etc. Things that appear so convoluted and never seem to improve over time, although I’m sure they do. And so I get stuck, I can’t seem to find a way to change my state of mind.
Nature teaches me a lot.
When I go out there, my problems become irrelevant. The wilderness is doing its own thing, has its own laws and I become a part of a much bigger equation. Somehow it takes the weight of my shoulders.
The problems you encounter on the trail, on the water, or on a rock face are much more straightforward (hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue) and therefore can often be solved easily if not right away (eat, drink, put on a layer, rest). If I can stay long enough, my mind starts to unwind, my senses heighten and my focus sharpens once again. I get to see, feel and hear things that I would never notice on a busy schedule.
I learn about patience,
as trees slowly make their way up to the sky, an inch at a time.
I learn about diversity,
as no two plants flower the same way, no two streams flow at a same rate or no two mountains tower the landscape from the same height.
I learn about non-duality,
as Nature doesn’t seem to have any self-interest, and simply subsists.
I become able to live in the present moment and take on the day one step at a time.
Hiking through the changing weathers and seasons, I come to understand that life is not about a constant state of stability. There is times to work and times to rest, times to act and times to reflect, times to fail and times to succeed, times to be soft-hearted and times to be tough, times to hold on and times to let go.