The first time I was
alone in the wilderness I
I climbed a mountain steep
and strenuous. My backpack a
burden. My legs on
strike after battling gravity like
a prizefighter. I rested often,
recharging and then
The forests change.
At the summit I am
rewarded. My eyes as wide as
the valley below, filled with
lesser hills like frozen
waves set afire with
trees of gold and scarlet.
The sun undresses the sky as it
goes to sleep. Millions of tiny lights
dancing above without inhibition.
The campfire’s embers leap up
to them as if seeking communion before
dying into the surrounding dark.
The distant call of an
owl sounds ominous
but foretells nothing sinister.
I am not unlike the
raccoon who briefly investigates
my presence. Seeking warmth,
food, keeping a watchful eye on
the surrounding forest.
The invisible sun rises from its
bed. I emerge from my
cocoon and soon feel
like a turtle again, my home on
my back. I descend listening to
the choir of crashing raindrops,
singing soprano on my
jacket, alto on the rocks, baritone
on the mud.
The sight of my car is bittersweet with
the grapefruit of civilization and the
chocolate of dry warmth. My pack now
shed, I am like a feather in the wind. And I
remain unbound. The feeling stays with
me for days. Weeks. Months. Years.
Content copyright © 2013 by Jamie Anderson. All rights reserved.