Lost your path? How going a little wild might help you find your way.
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
Welcome back, readers! This month has been filled with writing endless new chapters for the LL book, which has taken up most of my attention. Oh, and I've moved country a few times, too! Amongst all of this - currently in Spain - I have been trying to make time to read a little more.
In the last few days, I have been lost and found in Cheryl Strayed's 'Wild'. My copy was sent to me by a dear friend complete with friendly annotations, making me feel as if we were joined together as we accompanied Cheryl on her 3 month solo venture. We were doing it together, the three of us.
The story of 'Wild' is one of female endeavour. Instead of the Disney heroes of stories we grew up with, who venture off into unknown lands to demand love and treasure, here is a true life heroine who pursues an independent quest across mysterious terrain. Her tale is told with honesty and a deep sense of integrity. She offers us the gift of her truth.
We have been parking upon the coastal cliff tops overlooking beautifully jurassic scenery recently. I have been surrounded by green forests and sleeping above vast stretches of the beautiful beaches that Spain so generously offers. Each evening is spent with my partner sitting in the doorway of our van, as we sip tea and turn over all we're discovering. It may not be the wild camping of Cheryl's journey, but it's certainly making my heart happy.
This afternoon I went for my own adventure walk. It was unusually cold and unpleasant weather. Undeterred and wholly inspired by my recent reading material, I clambered over the damp hills to reach the sands. I pushed the thought of the cosy comfort of our van out of my tempted mind even as the harsh winds came.
As I descended the dunes, the breeze wrapped around me and pulled me forwards on to the beach. The tide was out, leaving miles of stone coloured sands. The horizon white and navy, it was impossible to separate the very ends of the earth from where the deep sky began.
Engulfed by the rush of ocean winds around me and the sounds of Einaudi coming from my headphones, I felt a decompression of my chest that I hadn't expected. I thought for an awful moment that I may burst into tears. To my joy, I began to laugh! And shortly after, I began to dance.
In a natural reaction to my environment, I felt liquid force come pouring from my muscles as I started to move around the empty beach. Dance movement that had been lying dormant in the months since my operation. I fell, faltered, skipped, and leapt across the sandy plains of the beach. I realised how much I missed it.
Eventually, I began slowing in pace. Each movement became more gentle than the last until I was standing entirely still facing the ocean. I don't know how I long I stood there. For once, I didn't need to know.
I realised I was starting to feel the cold as my body cooled and my heart rate normalised. I turned to make my back across the beach. Towards Richard, our van and a pot of hot tea.
Just as the sands will never make the same formation again, the world will keep moving whether we take note of it or otherwise. The beach I danced upon wasn't there to provide anything for me. The pebbles that surrounded me will undoubtedly now have been washed out to sea. The experience is what I take with me.
I have learnt that it's OK to go a little wild every now and again. To get lost in a foreign land. I have been taught by dear friends and great writers the pleasures of adventure in finding your way.
More than anything, your own voice is the only one you really need to hear when you come to navigate. Where is your path taking you?
This week we make our way Northwards continuing through Spain. I'm looking forward to seeing what we might discover. Perhaps a ballet class, if there is one in the area. Perhaps a few more dancing beaches.
Be brave! Be happy! Perhaps even be a little wild this month. You might be surprised at the treasure you may find.