As I walked along the gravel track leading down to my sister’s front paddock at 9:30pm on the eve of the Winter Solstice, I remembered the outdoor world I’ve recently left behind with it’s glittering stars, velvet air, night time hum, and crisp intense realness.
My brother-in-law had asked me to check on the bonfire he’d lit this afternoon that would smoulder overnight until the morning, so I wandered down without expectation to ensure the flames were under control.
Walking past the mist covered fields on either side of the driveway, establishing my path without light by the sound of gravel crunching beneath my feet, I suddenly felt reconnected with the outdoors.
When I was on the Pacific Crest Trail from April to October in 2013, the sun, moon and stars became close to me like family or friends. These were the constant counterparts of my journey, forever changing in their own unique way, but ever present whether I paid attention to them or not. I felt so close to these elements surrounding our planet that I painstakingly missed them when my trail life ended and the civilised world took hold. Of course they were still there, but they’d gone from being my closest allies to friends I only saw when I had the time. Like old friends, when you catch up after months without contact it’s like time hasn’t passed, but there’s always something missing; that true common understanding of one another that only comes from spending everyday together and living your lives in that fashion for months on end.
Tonight when I was reunited with the stars and the silence of the night, tears began to well in my eyes. When I reached the bonfire I had only checked on because I was tasked, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t simply walked the 300 meters on my own accord to view such a marvellous spectacle. I’d simply forgotten to take notice. There is so much stimulation in our world between phones, computers and television that we forget the most breathtaking display of nature is waiting for us right outside our front door.
I’ve never felt as connected to this planet until I spent the most part of six months outdoors. Every smell, sight and touch I experience when I’m back in the wilderness often ignites a feeling inside me that wasn’t there before. A true appreciation for the gift of life we were given, and the glorious planet it was packaged in.
This is not to say the world is a perfect place, it’s far from it; but if we don’t appreciate the glory of its small miracles every once in a while then what are we holding on for?
At your next opportunity go outside; view a sunrise, a sunset, or simply breath in the fresh night air under a blanket of stars, just to remember how lucky we are. We may all be guilty of ignorance towards the troubled state of our world, but we shouldn’t be guilty of ignoring the presence of nature’s beauty so close to us.
11 thoughts on “Reconnect with nature”
What a beautifully written and poignant message. You really pointed out for me and made more important the simply but wonderful nature that is around us each and every day. We can get so caught up in our days that we can forget the obvious right in front of our faces.
Thank you for this post.
Your words are so true, thanks for sharing this experience Rozanne. I think I have never thanked you for your pct blog……I read it novel-style in January after I’d made my decision to hike the pct next year, and was delighted to find an Aussie woman’s blog. I’m a Melbourne girl – wow it’s hard to find UL gear here!
In regards to tele etc – I felt so bombarded about a year ago that I ceased watching TV. I still have some favourite series I watch on catch-up but I am no longer subject to all the media BS……I read more, gaze at the sky more, walk more, talk more and play more……..have you ever seen the series What About Me by 1Giant Leap? Check it out…..
Love & Light to you 🙂
Perhaps it is fitting that on the eve of writing this particular post, that I have for you yet another rememberence of your PCT journey….actually “post-PCT journey”….you have a full-page color write-up in the yearbook about your visit and talk of the PCT to the Del Sur School. Email me an address where I can mail you the yearbook…my email is my last name @sbcglobal.net. Always glad to see a new post from you.
How right you are. What a delightful and thoughtful post. I think I will go outside and make my apologies to the sky for so often ignoring the wonder of life and the universe.
Truer words were never spoken. Nice post.
Oh yes, how true that is … I get that feeling everytime I come home late and see the moon and the stars in the sky and inevitably spend some time on our veranda – I always wonder why I don’t do that more often. I think the ideal would be to neither ignore the state of the world nor the state and beauty of nature around us, and do what we can in order to improve both, but even really noticing just the latter for a few moments each day has a huge impact I think.
It was great to hear from you, and I hope you get to see your stellar friends (all of them, also the human ones – hah!) more often in the near future!
Rozanne….thanks…..yesterday when I was driving home, I suddenly looked at the whole of the place I live….in the foothills of the High Sierras…..huge pines all around….it’s a beautiful little town…..and I said, unplanned, to myself how much I loved this place….My home sits surrounded by pine trees and a pretty big Redwood Tree….pine needles have covered our yard…..and at night, when I look up at the sky, it is hard to see very much because of the trees…..but, I see the constellations, Iike a kid finding these pictures in the sky, it brings me joy….like you, I love this beautiful planet…we are so blessed, aren’t we… thanks, sweetie….PS…..I have been looking for your blog…because you bring such words that bring such excitement to me and to those who read your thoughts….Thanks, from Barbie, your friend from California…
So happy to hear from you, what an incredible, insightful post! We were driving home from Tahoe and had just pasted the exit for the PCT trail when I saw your post, perfect timing! I miss the trail and have yet to walk even a mile of it! I lived vicariously thru you from May , when I discovered your blog, until October, when you finished the PCT! What a journey you had, I’m sure the adjustment is difficult for you! I’ve looked for other blogs to follow but you seem to have set the bar pretty high as none feel the same as yours. Happy Trails, I hope you are out on a trail again soon and in the mean time taking time to see the beauty that surrounds us every day!
Hi darling, such true and beautiful words you used to describe your nature experience again. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about those sparkling stars in the ink black sky, the stillness of the night and the fresh air to breathe. It always amazes me how beautiful nature is. The colors it can show us with a beautiful sunset with golden clouds, the colors of the different flowers and animals. We are so lucky to be part of this wonderful world and I just don’t want to miss one minute of it. Enjoy your time and we will see you soon, love you heaps, Mutti xx
love this blog, I try to do the same and enjoy the nature around us,
when I’m on the PCT doing day hikes usually at some point I take a minute to just enjoy the beauty around me. This year it has been warm and with little snow melt, the wild flowers which I love will be gone too soon I’m afraid. Did some day hikes south from Ebbetts pass and it was really beautiful, wild flowers, waterfalls and rocky ridges, twisted Western Junipers !!!!
Thanks for sharing Muk Muk. I was just returning home from a week of backpacking, kayaking and canoeing in Canada. Having unplugged for the week on my return to the states I reconnected with the world wide web and found your beautiful message awaiting me. I feel like crying because I am returning to all of these distractions. It is so much better to be unplugged. Looking forward to your next post. – Derrick “Big Spur” Mahoney