This photo challenge is familiar. In 2012, there was a similar challenge which I responded to in this fashion. I still blog about all those things, but lately, I’ve come to realize that I have been going through an evolution inspired by a specific concept: WILDERNESS. In fact, I have an entire page set up to link to my wilderness posts. (Feel free to browse around there!) This last weekend, Steve and I went to find some wilderness in the U.P. (the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). Sure enough, there were 3 federally designated wilderness areas in the western portion of that state. We went to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness in the Ottawa National Forest. In 1987, logging operations there ceased and the logging roads were left to return to wilderness. We were told by a forest ranger that the old road is a 7.5 mile “trail” that traverses the wilderness and given a map. She warned us, though, that it’s not maintained. We attempted to hike from both trail heads, but only got about 50 feet along before we realized that we would be foolish to go any further. As I headed back toward the car, I realized that I was crying. Not because I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to hike there, but for a very different, special reason. It was as if I had been invited into the sanctuary of a foreign religion or to spend half an hour on a different planet. I was humbled. I was in awe. I felt a reverence for the place that put my presence in profound perspective. It wasn’t quite like I didn’t belong; it was that I belonged no more especially than anything else there, even the tiniest fungus spore. It was a supreme experience of equality. I did not dominate in any way. I jokingly told Steve that this was a place “where men are food and flies are king”, but I was feeling anything but glib in my soul.
To find yourself in the sanctuary of wilderness is to feel the breath of the Divine all around. Breathe it in. Be inspired.
I can feel the peace in your photos and get the same feeling from being out in nature.
It is so restorative!
So often I feel like I would like to pull a Walden and escape to the wilderness.
Do it! It’s not really too hard. Surround yourself with solitude, quiet, peace and nature…for a few hours, a few days.
Some great pics of the UP. I like the gallery effect of change in scale from close up to landscape.
Thanks, Tom. There’s so much happening in both macro and micro scales in a healthy ecosystem.
Great gallery and winds of change…a beautiful post.
Thanks, Leya. I like the change in my perspective! 🙂
So do I!
What a lovely experience, and so well told, Scilla. It is comforting to know that the natural world is usually (though not always–ie. extinction of species) able to heal itself when humans leave it alone.
The natural world is the example of change, adaptation and self-determination. Extinction is forever, though, as you point out. Always wise to keep that in mind!
I love that the wilderness was just that 🙂 even though it kept you out Priscilla … sorry about that!
I’m not that sorry. All good!