Just me, as a person, outside of every other thing that defines us. There’s a deep okay-ness with that, which has settled in for me over time.
Was there anything else unexpected on this journey?
I had a chronic knee injury flare-up, which made the hiking challenging. There was a moment on a really rainy day where we had walked deep into a glen and the group was going to continue on a steep hill, which the hiking guide didn’t think I should attempt to tackle.
The group was gone for two hours while I stayed put, surrounded by nothing but big green hills and a few distant sheep. No human that I could see within sight. But also no predatory animals (like we have in BC, Canada) to keep me on any sense of alert. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that kind of stillness in nature—covered in mud, drenched by rain, physically spent, and yet in that moment just deeply present and connected to everything around me.
Another thing that showed up—I met a lot of new people in those two months who were absolutely significant to the whole experience. I think when you’re younger, you have this desire to hold onto those kind of “summer camp” people, in part to hold onto the moments themselves. But at this stage in life, there was something meaningful in just being present with people where we were, of a sense of real connection that ultimately belonged to the land and the moments we shared and didn’t necessarily need continuation.