I went into the wilderness searching for answers, and I came out with more questions. But how refreshing it was to not be bombarded with forceful messages, technology, and pressures from all sides. They surround us, grip us, and squeeze us tight, telling us to look a certain way, be a certain person, make certain decisions, and put on a certain front. The wilderness accepted me for who I am; not who society tries to form me to be, but the realest more pure, uncontaminated, and untainted version of me.
The one without the cool shoes, clean soapy smell, and even new cologne to go on top. As a matter of fact, the wilderness prefers for those things to get soiled, worn off, worn out, and faded in order to better blend in. The armadillo didn’t ask me “what’s next”, but allowed me the privilege of getting close enough to see his armor-like shell, just before he scurried loudly into the dry leaves of the forest. The alligator didn’t ask my “plans”, and wanted nothing to do with me, though big and scary, with a reputation preceding him. But he allowed me to get close enough to look into his eyes, before he disappeared into the dark waters. He didn’t care where I have been or where I am going. In the wilderness the most unthreatening animals tend to make the most noise, and the most threatening remain quiet, and still, until they choose to be seen.
I evolved into a more simple creature in the wilderness. I cared less about how I looked outside, and more about how I felt inside. I cared less about keeping my shoes clean, and more about just how dirty I could get them. I cared less about fear, and more about adventure. I cared less about worrying about what the future holds, and more about enjoying the present. The wilderness spoke so loud it drowned out the anxiety of what’s to come and forced me to surrender to the moment.
I looked into the water and saw my reflection. I saw a young, timid deer dart for his life at the sign of my canoe, and I could relate. I saw an otter, playful and silly and laughed with him. I saw a sunbathing turtle who just wanted to be, without me coming and disturbing him, and I empathized. I saw a venomous snake slither away quickly as I approached him, completely underestimating his potential, and I understood. I shouted loud and heard my voice echo, and speak back. I made certain inquiries and got answers to questions different to the ones I had asked. My questions where left unanswered, and the wilderness posed other questions I had not considered. I went into the wilderness searching for answers, and I came out with more questions.