"I hike over sagebrush and hills and Veda trots at my heels; stopping when I stop, moving when I move. I think to myself how it seems so flattering for her to want to be around me constantly, to not get tired of my company.
I think about how lucky I am to be comfortable here in the plains. I think about how many people will never see this place as I do and how they will think this is desolate and empty land- barren. And I think about how being out in this open space is rejuvenating and necessary-almost vital- to my very being. I have always thrived on wild. Wild places. wild people, wild hearts and ideas. Because it is in those that I believe I'm brought back to the roots of myself. The desire to see unknown land, the thought of stepping in a place that no one before me has stepped are ideas that keep my heart and soul alive and thriving.
I look around at my family, all looking for the same things. I notice my dog listens more when we are in the backcountry, and I tend to listen more, too. I notice the smallest details: the remains of an animal, the bones laid out as if in a museum, the smallest layers of a ridge, built up over time, and the gentle clouds, laying a blanket over the horizon. I believe myself and my family become better people out here. Without distractions, we are stripped of the excess, and that is when it seems to me that we are most honest and true. Each others company is strongly preferred and despite the oncoming snow and wind, everyone is smiling.
I think of all these things while I walk, foot over foot, grin stretched on my face and letting my soul be honest and wild. It is here in the open where you have the ability to think. This is maybe the only space where true, honest thought can occur. You can be honest about who you miss and why, or how being alone sometimes feels lonely but a little like home. I believe that everyone should feel a sense of being incredibly small in a large world. That sentiment is not to belittle someone, or create a sense of fear- but moreover, allow a shift in perspective- there is something much larger than your own immediate world, and it takes a paradigm shift to see it.
...these moments of pure happiness, pure joy and truth are the ones that will never change, but will forever be left the way they are."
I etched these words into a piece of paper while sitting right in this spot with Veda.
Decisions became incredibly clear and obvious, and I'm ready to move on.