…out under the sky. No ceiling obscures my gaze of the heavens. There are no walls to shield me from wildlife. There I am witness to unfurling miles of forest. I tackle durable mountains, am lulled by rolling hills, and rest by springs of water. I am alive, in the wild, moving, breathing. My soul expands in the out-of-doors. Limits fall away even as summits rear themselves; they call, even as they provoke — “Are you up for the task?” I respond by embracing them with effort and sweat, slips and falls, muscle stretch and ache. My recompense is in catching my breath, sleeping under the stars, being awed by the views. Such endeavor brings reward — gratitude — and joy!
Merry Christmas to hikers and backpackers and lovers of the wild everywhere!