After last week’s portion of tests and studying around the clock some friends invited me to come with them hiking in the cascades for two days. I arranged my plans so I could go and we set off Friday afternoon and came back Saturday night. It was a pretty short excursion, but it was good to be back out in the woods, mountains and the free air again.
I like being out for a longer period of time for many reasons. One thing that I was reminded of this time was how in a way simple life is when you are hiking. All of a sudden life changes drastically when you get out and can only live out of you backpack. Anything more than that would cause too much of a burden to carry around. It fascinates me that I again and again realize how the few items I can fit in a backpack can be enough for me to be comfortable in some very harsh and demanding environments. Sometimes I wonder how I can apply this comfort to my own life. Deep into the woods I do not feel that I lack much. Even though I have access to less things I find joy in the moment and in what I am doing.
so what is it that I often do differently out in the woods hiking than I do in normal life? What lesson do I take with me from two days and a night in the Cascades?
i think, for me, that the hike is appealing because of what I realize I have around me. Old rugged pine tree, cold mountain lakes, thick white clouds covering the mountain summits, smell of sap on my hands… They are all things I have come to enjoy. Perhaps the same thing goes with ordinary life; to find the joy in the things around me. People, studying, airplanes and more are all things that I can learn to enjoy. Many times it seems like I forget the beauty, joy and excitement that the things around me can hold. To learn how to discover these things would perhaps make life a little differently focused. A part of the mystery of enjoying life is then not to seek more things to fit in your backpack, but be more focused on the things around you than what you have in your backpack.
There are more things to it than this, but I’ll share those things in other posts. Until then…