What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was? Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild.
With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way. Everything except the fact that I didn't have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I'd done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days.
To believe that I didn't need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life - like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be. What leads to what. What destroys what. What causes what to flourish or die or take another course. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith,or if there was such a place,or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake. Her death had obliterated that.
It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. Thank You.
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At the campsite, we tied up the llamas and ignored them for 12 hours. This was not negligent, but normal; llamas are very low-maintenance animals. They were perfectly content to roll in the dust and munch grass while we opened the wine and toasted to our phlegmatic sidekicks. The next day, we hiked up to Looking Glass Lake and led the llamas to the pristine blue-green water for a drink. Sure enough, once their feet got wet they immediately soiled our Caribbean fantasy.
I spent the next hour fishing hundreds of pellets out of the water and flicking them as far back onto shore as my six-inch plastic hand shovel would allow, but still I never gave a thought to apex predators possibly lurking in the bushes. And, yes, we slept better than we ever had outdoors. Rather than focus on the negative, we were distracted by their awkward bathroom habits, their endearingly goofy faces, and the fact that they kept sneezing on our necks as we led them down the trail.
A sudden expulsion of cold snot really does keep your mind from catastrophizing. They entertained us and left us feeling less vulnerable—safe, almost.
Bears still exist, after all. Llamas can help hikers and other outdoorspeople schlep creature comforts to far-off campsites.
Walking In The Wilderness Of Fear eBook: Sarah Berthelson, David Leavell: rapyzure.tk: Kindle Store. Her story is about how fear has impacted her life and how God has walked with her through the wilderness of fear. This walk wasn't always easy and the.
Photo: Nina Cottrell. Chris Cottrell. Sep 27, Facebook Icon.