“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
You’ve written that you have now stepped into the image on the page and are starting to live your dream?
As a child I’d escape through the pages of National Geographic and I’d sit on the floor and just dream of those places. The deserts, the Grand Canyon and the National Parks. During a solo hike into the Narrows of Zion, which is an upstream hike right in the middle of the Virgin River, I suddenly realized it had been a place I’d seen as a kid in the magazine. The abrupt consciousness the my childhood daydream had at that very moment manifested itself washed over me with great emotion all small in the towering canyons. It was an incredibly powerful moment. My life had come full circle and it became very moving and I started to tear up.
My life had indeed become the life my childhood self so clearly wanted. It felt like a promise kept to the child left behind. It was honor paid back to a younger life often fraught with less than honorable circumstances. As I hiked for miles upstream dwarfed by canyon walls hundreds of feet high, I became aware that I kept looking behind me. Finally, I stopped and turned around and rested my head on my extended tripod that I used as a walking stick. I paused and let the moment happen, let the emotions catch up and take hold. I kept looking back because I wanted to remember where I had come from physically, historically and spiritually.