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August 21, 2018
Morning Walk - Out Of The Wild
The last time I was fired the only trauma was figuring out what to do with the extra time on my hands. After a few days of doing nothing, being an early riser, going for a walk seemed like a good idea.
Out the door and into semi-wild spaces down Burton Road in Linden, Arizona became a ritual, a meditation, and an exhalation of stress. One might add, it was also a blessing and a gift to have the time and the opportunity for such a space.
A saving grace of this particular part of Arizona was and may still be, what was for me a wild, open, quietly peaceful landscape. My only companion, Brownie. Elk, coyotes, an occasional wolf, horses, cattle, and flittering, chirping, stalking, soaring birds were treats and opportunities.
Every day out the door and into this wild space, camera in hand, and sniffingly joyous Brownie and I left the house and sauntered our mile. Images were shot when and if they presented. As the seasons changed morning light changed from totally dark to faintly visible, temperature, clouds, and creatures varied accordingly.
Bellowing elk moved to higher or lower elevations, horses disappeared, migrating birds flew their routes, coyotes were seen less, though still seen. Wolves were heard but seldom appeared, and yes, snow fell, changing the landscape. Another modification also occurred.
An internal transfiguration silently, invisibly, altered my mind, body, and spirit. One must always be grateful for this moment of life. Over this period of approximately ten years, I have heard and seen things most people will never experience.
Every day I was home I took that ritual walk, spending at least an hour to two hours outside in the company of no one but wild creatures, extremely valuable morning light, and fanciful weather conditions. Because it was done every day, the changes were not noticed, and thus were absorbed, internalized, and burned into mind, and body.
But, there is always a but…other life choices intervened. That is another story. Those choices were welcomed though one did not realize immediately the consequences taking place in my head, and body.
I chose to leave Arizona and return to Wisconsin. I knew I would miss being out in the wild. There was no realization of how much it would be missed and how much my mind had changed because of these excursions into that open feral landscape.
Being ‘out’ as I have come to designate it; It is difficult to explain the loss of this experience. It brought peace into my heart, it gave me a creative outlet for writing and shooting, and a greater understanding of how man has changed and lost touch with his natural surroundings.
Being Out integrated sunshine into my head. It released stress in a way nothing else can. There were times when I stopped on the road and listened to nature without any man-made sounds. Sometimes, nothing was heard. Unless you have ever heard that you have no idea how great it sounds.
Sometimes, I could identify all the animals speaking their message. That was a particular smile. And always, being in nature felt like it was pouring itself into my pores. It filled me up with a peaceful energy.
I’ve finally recognized the withdrawal from that. It was a natural drug, and not having it has caused some internal and external pain of the mind and spirit. Recognizing a complication is a road to recovery.
Wisconsin is a different landscape. Out of the wild, and into an environment with different aspects to explore. Now there are memories, to savor and soothe, and assuage the wild.
Letting go of addictions, and in a way, it was an addiction, is demanding, complex, and wearisome. Many trite and true phrases surface as one ponders a description of addictive behavior. In this instance, it was a positive addiction, and it ended due to a life choice. Some addictions do not have decent, optimistic options, nor choices as marvelous.
Releasing one activity opens the door for others. Now an excitement begins; a pondering of what-ifs, speculation concerning discovery, wonder, and grateful appreciation for more opportunities.
Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.