I was maybe 35 years of age and had the inspiration to drive up the Big Sur coast of California and sleep in the wild. I filled my back pack with journal, book, bits of food and water along with a one person tent, sleeping bag and water filter. Twas a gorgeous day and I felt excitement in the journey. After three hours of driving I arrived at the trail head. Donning my pack I headed up the hillside which was spotted with majestic oak trees and covered with green and golden grasses. When the breeze would stir, the grass would dance in a wavelike motion, so lovely that I would stop and take it in as though it were the breath that kept my body alive. It was a hot day and I took my time getting to my destination. A small camp with a spring of water that began in a small pool and traveled on as a creek. Shedding my clothing, thankful to have this place to myself I slipped into the pool marveling at the sunlight streaming through the trees. So lovely to have a bath to wash off the days dust and cool in the midst of the heat. Surely this is heaven!
Dinner was lovely and light a mix of carrot, sweet red pepper, avocado, cheese and crackers. Food tastes so delicious when I carry my belongings on my back and am calling the earth my home. I set up the tent, shaking out my sleeping bag, crawled up on a large boulder and awaited the sinking sun to make way for the twinkling of the stars. Sitting there, for the first time I heard the sounds of the day dim and fade away as new unseen sounds of night surrounded me and came to life. It was the unseen part that rattled me. I was perfectly fine sitting on that boulder. Nothing but beauty around me. BUT what was that sound and that other sound? I felt fear fill my veins and stir my imagination. I seriously questioned my decision to wander off alone! Over and over I would tell myself “is anything bad happening to you?” “no”. Still the fear would not vanish. All the reality of the fact that I was fine had no effect on my imagination. I slid into my tent made of paper thin nylon, zipping closed the door and pretended I was safe and sound and fell asleep.
Waking in the morning, taking in the beauty of this land I remembered my time of unjustified fear. Some how I made a pact with myself to face my fears in the wild. Over the years I have journeyed out a number of times alone, for one to five nights. All wonderful experiences. When the fear arose I would chat with myself about how I was just fine, no danger at hand until I could get myself present to reality. I found that when I could be present the fear would melt away into the nothingness from which it rose. Slowly developing new muscles for being presence.
This writing was inspired while visiting and enjoying Greenish Ladie's Blog. She has a post inspired by a blog called Sunday Scribblings. These folks give us a prompt to write about, this weeks prompt was "fearless" which brought back long ago memories. Sunday Scribblings is a wonderful event to participate in ! Thank you.