Or, How Did I Get Here?
I first read this seminal guide on walking when I was eleven years old and growing up in a small town in central Massachusetts. I was captivated by this image. There is something so self-contained, yet connected with the natural world about it. I found it comforting and still do.
I recognize where he is now. Not specifically, but somewhere near the Sierra Crest. I've camped in similar places many times.
It took me a long time to get to these places. The land in New England is not like the open-spaced and wide-sky west. But somehow, my path eventually lead me here and it's become much more familiar and home to me than the land of my birthplace. And perhaps it was a more deliberate path: I yearned for these places, sought them out in the east and even gave up on finding them (for a while). Obviously, I found them later on (or maybe they conspired to find me).
Fletcher himself said that his book wasn't just a how-to-do guide for the outdoors; it was, perhaps even more importantly, a how-to-be guide for the outdoors. That message got through to me. He helped launched me on the path to the natural world. This has become one of the great nourishments of my life. And a much appreciated healing element as well.
As a side note, I am here, writing this today, because his writing inspired my own.
So where am I today? Well, I was literally here:
It's a 45 minute drive from my house to this place's trailhead, and as the crow flies, it's only a couple of miles. Claire and I had a great time today. She wanted to lead the way the whole time, no whining, just good spirits.
This is where I am, and it's a very good place.