Thursday, August 15, 2013

California Wilderness: Homecoming

Talia Bakker (trail name: Ripple) writes about her journey, and how her definition of Home has changed, in the White Mountains and beyond:

The White Mountains  satiate a deep longing for home. This six-week trip, though we have been moving non-stop, has in fact been an extended homecoming. Throughout my life I have docked at many harbors, and inevitably set sail once again when the seas call me. When our group of adventurers  departed from the harbor of Santa Cruz, I charted a course without knowing the destination. Relying only upon the provisions I was in possession of, I sailed straight out into the open sea. As I was rocked about by the waves crashing upon the prow of my ship, my sails held fast with the support of classmates. Throughout all hardships of the trip and with each  incursion into the wilderness, I have found that there is more to myself than I could have dreamed.

Now end of our trip, I sit next to the sun-dappled creek and there is a great feeling of belonging, of aliveness. I have spent my whole life thinking I knew where I wanted to go, and put out so much effort to fight the elements in getting there-- carving course through the waters, struggling to stay on track despite vicious racking winds, only to find when I arrive that it is not what I was looking for.

This last journey has allowed room for new eyes, another glace at the stars and the waters reflecting them down below. Home: I have been looking for it within achievements, never noticing that home has been with me wherever I go. I believe now that it cannot be reached by fighting the elements and charting courses; home is to be found in the journey to those things. This is why the White Mountains holds so much more than just wilderness. The mountains are part of the adventure, part of the home, part of those who love it. It is part of me; my journey has led me here and I exist within my journey. Now I will travel back to civilization ecstatic to experience new things, and old things in a new ways.

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