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"My boot was gone. Actually gone. I clutched its mate to my chest like a baby, though of course it was futile. What is one boot without the other boot? It is nothing. It is useless, an orphan forevermore, and I could take no mercy on it... I lifted it high and threw it with all my might and watched it fall into the lush trees and out of my life."
I walked until walking became unbearable, until I believed I couldn't walk even one more step. And then I ran.
Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I’d lost or what had been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I’d done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.
I don't know how living outdoors and sleeping on the ground in a tent each night and walking alone through the wilderness all day almost every day had come to feel like my normal life, but it had...and something inside of me released.
I felt fierce and humble and gathered up inside, like I was safe in this world.