wild

wild-reese-witherspoon-970x545

Scene from the movie Wild

“I’m going to a movie tonight.”

“Alone, but why?”

“Because I want to see this movie, and I like seeing movies alone. I don’t have to listen to someone else stuffing their face with popcorn.”

I’m always mystified when my friends don’t understand my need to do things alone. I like to wander the city alone. I like to watch movies alone. I like to do things alone, and it really doesn’t mean I’m lonely.

I saw Wild yesterday. It’s story about a young woman, Cheryl Strayed, who treks 1,100 miles up the Pacific Coast Trail, alone. I read the book last year and couldn’t put it down. In many ways, she was like me. Pretty, but kind of gritty. Careless and kind of wanton. Intelligent, but smarting from life’s lessons.

Cheryl is a real woman, and it’s her memoir of the tormenting grief she endured after abruptly losing her mother to cancer, cheating on her husband by having sex with any man that asked for it (and then divorcing him), bingeing on heroine, and then one day picking up a hiker’s guide to the Pacific Coast Trail.

This young woman went out there alone to face herself. It’s the age-old theme of self-discovery. Of overcoming adversity. Of accepting that life hands you a real fucking raw deal sometimes, and you have to find the strength to move past it. Not everyone does.

Anyway…..like Cheryl Strayed, sometimes I go out on my own to camp in the wild. It’s so freeing to be in nature, all alone. I highly, highly recommend it. Here are some pictures from some of my past trips.

campground

While wild camping is totally legal in Scotland, I stayed at this a low-impact campground near Inverkeithing. No showers, and only composting toilets. The owners were absolutely lovely people – Jehova’s witnesses who talked to me about God when I went down the hill to fill my water. They didn’t push me with their beliefs, and I welcomed their warm words of love and spirit. Sometimes it’s great to just open up and listen.

 

scotts

Inverkeithing, Scotland, the local town nearby that I would walk to for a pint. I ended up meeting the guy with the hat on, who showed me around the town. That old guy had a glass eye, I recall. I think he’d taken it out at that point.

treeclimbing

Tree climbing

snail

A snail I spotted in Devon, England.

stonewall

The Ledges, Iowa. I biked four hours with my camping gear and camped alone for four days. Four beautiful days I’ll never forget.

 

mudbirds

The Ledges, Iowa. Mud birds. I watched them for a couple hours for a few days in a row. Occasionally one of them will forget where he lives and will attempt to enter another person’s home. Eventually, he finds his own.

deer

I woke up early one morning for a walk and found a baby dear bleating for his mother. Then, out of the woods to the South, his mother came bounding toward me. She stood there and looked at me, and then the baby began following her back into the woods.

fire

A fire I built somewhere…not sure where, but I know I poked at it for hours. Because that’s what you do with fires.

flowersoncampground

A view I took in for days straight, just being. Doing absolutely nothing but watching the bees do their work in the flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 comments

  1. Yes…because that IS what you do with fires…and, yes to everything else too. Love

  2. This is wonderful! I saw Wild myself, on Christmas Day, in Berkeley, California. I had an awful time with the group I was with, a very rude bunch particularly the leader who repeatedly told me off for coming along as I was only “waitlisted” (wtf it was xmas day), but this didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the film and belief in its message, which inspired me to want to go hiking one day. I read the book, too, just as soon as I could. It was WOW omg. I love her determination, but she isn’t some kind of saint – it was bloody hard, and numerous times she wants to stop and go home! But this yearning, this lack of home, this running away from the past, is something I feel too. She has no home to go back to, she is a hobo, and so am I until I find where my soul will settle.

    • That leader sounds like a real A hole. I’m so happy you were able to enjoy the film anyway. It also inspired me to go hiking one day soon. I’m thinking either Scotland or maybe even a section of the PCT…it just looks so gorgeous. I long to be in nature soon again…it’s so built up here in Holland.

      The book….gawd yeah, it moved me for the same reasons you mention. Ya know one of my favorite parts, though? When the guy from Hobo Times pulls up…mahahahaha. And look! http://www.hobomagazine.com/ Not sure if it’s the same one…;)

  3. thanks Jami!

    Speaking for myself there is a hike, a pilgrimage actually, that I’ve been itching to do and very intrigued to learn more about, since my flatmate who’s done it told me about it a few weeks ago. It’s called Camino de Santiago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago and it is a spiritual journey through France and into Spain.

    she is not a believer in Christianity and neither am I but what she experienced there moved her to tears and answered a lot of questions she had within herself, questions she didn’t know she was searching for an answer to…

    There are different places for pilgrims to stay on the route, cheap hostels and b&bs, and some more upmarket places too. Camping is an option too but would require a lot of gear, not so conducive to the feeling of being in nature and unencumbered.

    One day!

  4. There’s really not much reason to go to the movies with someone. It’s not like the other person serves any purpose while in the theatre besides hogging the armrest. The best is when there are only 4 other people in the theatre and you get a whole row to yourself. I hate it when there’s a person beside you who yawns and their breath stinks.

    Camping alone does sound intriguing. I’d probably die in 4 days though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: