Wild by Nature

A fine description of me, right? Ha! It may well be, but it is also the title of a fantastic book I just finished where the intrepid National Geographic explorer  Sarah Marquis walks for 3 years solo from Siberia to Australia. She is made from a different fabric. Enviably tough, resilient, open minded, and ever resourceful. She immerses you in the steppes of Mongolia, the tough Sichuan mountains, snake infested bush lands, and explores culture, geography, true adventure, and mind blowing natural beauty. She begins the book explaining that her flame is ebbing and that she is called to this expedition to revive it.  While not all of us can follow our dreams so purely, it is certainly a reminder to listen to your soul when it speaks. Not an easy task in my mind. We spend so much time striving, being overwhelmed by the endless demands of busy jobs, home life, etc that it becomes challenging to hear any kind of sound inner voice. So I loved reading about someone who truly listened and took the call.

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Here’s my little taste of bliss on the North Fork on a little snowshoe outing. I was slow but steady, and it felt fabulous to be moving across sparkling snow with the warm sun beating down. Our new dog Penley was very puzzled by the snow. She stayed 1ft behind me as if the snow might swallow her up. I savored the sound of the stream in the otherwise quiet scene. This is my one winter foray so far for my back/spine is moody and asks for pool time to relieve the strain. Still I hope to make a few more excursions here to Galena and the Harriman trail. I have to admit I have felt just on the verge of tears several times as I picture normal me on the mountain, or cruising along on cross country skis. It breaks my heart to miss skiing with the kids at a time when they still think i am cool! And I just miss being able to experience the mountains as fully as I might. I get sad missing a season when I don’t know how many seasons are left. I know that I’m very lucky just to be here, and I say thank you as I wake up to the view of snow covered red cliffs. The ongoing lesson of saying thank you for what I can do, not what I can’t. But I will still allow myself some self pity, just no wallowing in it!

Giant elk visit the back yard. 6ft tall and majestic. We even saw a moose the first night when we pulled up to the house. On the less compelling front I read “Opening Belle” which made Wall Street sound rather dreadful and all of a giant tacky locker room. There was plenty wrong, but that wasn’t my experience. I’m glad for my 20 years, but sometimes I wonder where life would have taken me if I’d listened to the wild by nature parts of me? We all have so many paths not taken. It isn’t regret, just curiosity.

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