I found these extracts today in Gold Nuggets, Readings for Experiential Education, edited by Jim Schoel and Mike Stratton. They remind me that sometimes we get too caught up in 'self' and need time out just to focus on 'being'. When you tramp into the mountains, or kayak in rivers, or swim in the sea, you realise just how 'insignificant' you are amongst so much beauty and expansiveness and natural energy. You become completely focussed on being 'at one' with nature, and whatever concerns you may have had, no longer exist, in that moment. Perhaps if we let ourselves just live in the 'moment' nothing else would matter. Just the joy of being alive.
The sea takes trouble from you; takes worry and fear and illusion and anger and joy and joking and plans and ambition and love from you. Takes them, scatters them, gathers them, gives them back to you not so big or important as before.
You're not anyone, really; you never were. Oh you thought you were, when your head was too small for your illusions. But illusions aren't important now; you don't have to be anything, even yourself, because yourself was only something you had to make up, and then you thought you had to carry it around with you. What a relief to lay it down and walk away and forget it. Just to be a part of what's around you is enough.
Another Land Made of Water
Alone in the Wilderness
To spend a lengthy period alone in the forests or mountains, a period of coming to terms with the solitude and nonhumainty of nature is to discover, who, or what, one really is - a discovery hardly possible while the community is telling you what you are, or ought to be.
Nature, Man and Woman
Magic in the Feel of the Paddle
Sigurd F. Olson
There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude and peace. The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness and of a freedom almost forgotten. It is an antidote to insecurity, the open door to waterways of ages past and a way of life with profound and abiding satisfactions. When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known.
The Singing Wilderness