Have you ever awoken from a dream so powerful that you can still smell the forest? You can still feel the touch of the wind on your face? The warmth from the lover next to you?
I feel like everyday has been a dream recently, and I’m going to wake up anytime now, only to find that what I thought I was dreaming was reality, and the reality I thought I’d lived was just the dream.
I mention this only because the dreams I’ve had when I’m not out in the wild have been the strongest things. I can smell the pine forests, so crisp and clean on the air. The cool clean feeling of spring water as it trickles down your throat, cooling your mouth and belly. The snap and rush of streams and rivers as the flow past, power that leaves you behind. The taste of the woman I loved on my lips as she parts from a kiss.
When you wake up from something so strong, so real and you find yourself back in the reality of shopping malls, cars, frantic paces and people with no idea of the beauty around them, you can’t help but wonder.
Why am I here? What is the reason? Why did I chose to return here when all I want is out there?
When you hike long distances, going months on end in the woods you want nothing more than to go to a town. You dreams of nothing but TV, hotel rooms, greasy terrible food and air conditioning. The modern conveniences that America takes for granted on a daily basis. When you get those things, you love them, never want to let them go. You gorge on Chinese food, drink coca-cola until your stomach hurts. You watch the worst kinds of trashy TV, because it isn’t what you’re doing, has no basis in the reality you live in. You sleep in rooms that don’t let you hear the outside world.
And when you’re done with a day or two of that, you return to the woods and it’s majestic beauty. You wonder why you left town – it has all the good fun things that you want! You don’t remember months ago when you were trapped in that world of computers and tvs, flashing lights and advertising. When you yearned for nothing more then an open road, a direction that didn’t lead to suburbia or cubicles.
Sometimes we miss things right in front of us, while we look ahead to our yearnings. I know I’ve missed important things that stood right in clear view, important things that led to terrible consequences because I didn’t notice them. But even the little things you miss; the sunset, the drop of water falling from a branch and catching the light, a secret smile between lovers, are so very important.
Open your eyes. Look around and go explore a little. Find the secret spots that are just around the corner, the ones that let you know the world is full of hope and love. Power and beauty.
I think that is part of what life is – finding those moments, making those memories that last forever. Because they are all you can carry with you in the end. They don’t weigh a thing, but are also the biggest burden for a soul to have.
And they are all yours.