The wilderness within

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.

7 responses to “The wilderness within

  1. What a lovely, brief, and profound message.

  2. I think you must be right. There is a wilderness within us all, and it’s that wilderness inside which is drawn to the wilderness in our external world. There’s a deep recognition of ourselves when we visit those untamed places.

  3. My twist on this is slightly different though related. Wild places [especially oceans] are for me spacious above all else. No matter what I am feeling or going through at the time, there is room for me, for my worst, plus so much more. I can not possibly fill it. There is room to breathe. too woo hoo? It helps me anyway…

    loved the idea of blogging authentically, even though blogger has been crashed now for +12 hours so it may be awhile, oh well blogger being down encouraged me to comment on your blog 🙂 EB/mary

  4. I know there is a wild beast in me, one who opens up the wilderness within me and the wilderness all around me. I have oftentimes thought it would be cool to have a wilderness retreat center smack dab in the middle of a metropolitan area because they, too, have their own wilderness….

    Glad to have read you, today, because of the June Blog Challenge!

  5. Beautifully put Kathleen. I’m definitely drawn to the untamed for those same reasons. Thanks for articulating it so well.

  6. My thoughts exactly. I’ve been writing about it for a while. It’s great to meet a new friend in a wild place.

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