The last post I wrote for PNW Wandering was 8 months ago, less than a week before I left the Pacific Northwest for a 7 month trek across the country and around the world.
I have been back on PNW soil for about a month now and it’s been a wild ride — more to come on this transition on Friday so stay tuned. But for now, I am cozied up in the one room public library of the town I now call home. I am sitting criss-cross-applesauce staring at teen novels, as the sun streams in from the window beside me, and for one of the first times since coming home a month ago I feel at peace.
I attribute this peace to the major rooting I’ve done this past week. Not simply rooting to this new home, but rooting to the wilderness, to the wild land I live on, and to my ancestors who walked the land before me; to rooting into a remembrance of a childhood spent building forts in the deep Alaskan wilderness, returning worms to the mud, and traipsing through the land of the national forest I now live on full time.
While walking through the trails in my newfound backyard, I began to reflect on my roots, on the stories I often tell about my childhood, of concrete cul-de-sacs and ice-creams cones from Whole Foods. However, these city and suburb stories are such a small part of my childhood, and shaped me in lesser ways than the time I spent in the wild.
As this realization surfaced I recorded my thoughts as I wandered through the woods. They are imperfect, they are raw and unedited, but they are true, and I hope they resonate with you and enliven a connection to nature that you may have lost within yourself years ago.
So here are my words and a video of the oasis (yes, an oasis even with the mice, beetles, bats and lack of cellular data) that I now, and in so many ways have always, called home:
I feel a bit off kilter sharing more spoken than written words with ya’ll, but it’s what an overwhelming majority of you requested so please feel free to let me know what you think. I would love to hear the stories you tell about your connection with nature in your childhood, and what you remember when you take time to look back.
With lots of love,