I think perhaps I know one of the reasons we’re so attracted to wild, natural places — oceans, forests, mountains.
It’s because of the wild places in our own heads.
I have learned, over the years, how to bend to the expectations of civilization, not only on the grand scale — that’s pretty abstract, really — but in day-to-day life with family, work, friends, community. I go to work, even when I don’t feel like it. I pitch in with the housework, because it’s my responsibility, and it’s only fair. I follow my daily routines, as they cut their ever-deepening grooves into my psyche.
Towns, highways, corporations — they’re all like that, too. There are rules and expectations to be observed. Keep off the grass; stay on the sidewalk. Don’t block traffic.
And then there are those places that haven’t been tamed. Ocean waves crashing on the shore. Overgrown places, teeming with life. Lonely places, off the beaten track, so silent they take your breath away.
The part of me that is still untamed is drawn to these places, but the tame part of me is drawn there as well — to the places where simply being is enough.
Seeing the beauty of such places reminds me that there must be also be beauty in my own inner wilderness. Remembering this, I am at peace.