Some twenty years ago, I traveled to one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I spent three weeks there in January, when the lakes are frozen three feet deep, holding up our teams of dogs and sleds, fully-loaded logging trucks driving across them.
Untainted nature hugged my heart. I danced in the freedom of the unspoiled.
And I learned.
Beauty belies danger beneath surfaces.
Beholding the pristine exposes raw places.
And stepping into the uncharted brings fear.
My little suburban home is far from those Northwoods lakes and tributaries. But I’m still called into the wild. The Pristine stands before me and beckons me to follow, into fearsome and uncharted places.
Still and always learning.
That the fear is the blessing.
Pushing through the trepidation is the reward.
Gratefulness in the uncharted is the way to go.
“It was cold, bitterly cold, and I hurried back into the cabin and crawled into my sleeping-bag . . . Beside me was my pack and in a pocket my brush-worn copy of Thoreau. I took it out, thumbed through it by the light of the candle. ‘We need,’ he said, ‘to witness our own limits transgressed and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.'” ~Sigurd F. Olson, The Singing Wilderness