How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky? Anyone knows they are. How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute? No, you cannot explain. So you walk. (Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, “The Walk”, October 1967).
In a world where it is easy to be overwhelmed by technology and complexity I am often made to feel it is no longer enough to solve all our problems by a simple walk in the wilderness. But I know, from experience, that this is the case. It is through my relationship with nature that I learn everything one needs to know. When walking there is a sense of timelessness, of total absorption. We are lost in its rhythm, to its power, its motion and flow and through this we naturally access the true essence of ourselves and Nature – the creative living force that binds all beings together.
Walking in the wilderness has become my spirituality, my religion, my god and I feel incredibly lucky to know that I can quickly renew these connections and transform my mind with a simple walk in the wild. In her book Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit describes walking as “an active presence of body and mind”. It naturally creates a state in which the mind, body and universe align, “as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord.” For me it’s a feeling of completeness and wholeness that emerges without any artifice or techniques or practices.
After many years of wilderness wandering I intuitively know when its time to put my boots on and retreat back into the bosom of nature – peacefully walking my way back to those latent primordial rhythms to retrieve some hidden wisdom. I know its time when a lack of self trust creeps back into life, feelings become overwhelmed by the complexities of modern living. These feelings are often combined with a lack of joy, little self-love and less self-acceptance. Yet trusting in the healing power of the Nature, I prepare my intentions and venture out, with a pack on my back and open heart into wild and sacred places. It’s that easy!