I took my clothes off and stood in the rain, on a boulder shaped like a bumpy full size bed, the thunder was rolling and the lightning lit up the sky beyond the trees, the river spilled over the stone, splashing and licking at the edges of my feet, it was dark and I was alone. The pit of fire I’d lit crackled behind me and glowed red on the rocks I had walled up around it. I was 22 years old. To me it was a moment of glorious freedom.
The sun was high in the sky, the heat penetrated the air with a heavy damp sigh. I found a flat long stone along the banks and laid on it that afternoon. The only sound was the river and the birds and small crackles of branches breaking as the animals milled around in the woods playing and foraging. I faced downstream looking at the trees and the bend in the river when around it came a golden eagle. Its wings seemed to span the width of the water, it was awesome and beautiful and I was alone. I felt almost as if I too were flying and it was a moment of phenomenal beauty.
The frame of the lean to was built from two by fours, the roof, of branches and pine boughs. The opening faced the fire pit. An old oven rack leaned against the stone, the water sparkled as it passed by just beyond where I camped. I rolled to my back and stared at the starry night, the moon was full, everything had an ethereal glow and I was alone. I felt filled with so much peace, somehow in the middle of the wild, I felt safe and loved, loved by something unseen.
This has followed me my whole life, and I’ve always found that place somewhere, wherever I am. I have always found solace in those moments, those times when I am alone and see clearly that,
I am not…
So many things we take for granted, recklessly living and fearing who we are and what really matters. There is a part of me that loves the recklessness, but then there’s times that make me realize that there’s so much more in the picture and sometimes I just have to be alone to see the things I could have missed…hopefully that river never runs dry~