Lately, I have been hiking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Each time I come off the trail, I find myself looking forward to the next entrance into the wild. The trail offers much and is a magnificent teacher if we are willing to be the student. Sections of trail offer sanctuary from the world and a place of unmatched peace. Other sections offer challenge and suffering and require the hiker to repent of the quest for comfort and give in to the learning that comes from hardship and pursuit of beauty.
I am surprised by the flux between the desire for solitude and the desire for companionship. I start the trail with thanksgiving that I get to spend the day on an inner journey and an encounter with Nature. And then two hours later, I find myself beside a beautiful river or glen of ferns yearning for my wife to see what I’m seeing and to hear the words of the other as they encounter such beauty.
I suppose life is the ebb and flow of escape from the other and the desire for the other. Too much of one or the other sickens the soul and creates the desire for flight. A life of balance between the two creates yearning that doesn’t end in escape.