I wrote the italicized words below nearly 10 years ago. They hold relevance, still, today. Perhaps more than I’d like to admit.

what does my wilderness say to me? 

the call of my wild says, come out come out wherever you are. there is no right way, there is only being. 

my freckles, my skin, my emotions, my frail, weak, vulnerable soul. my love, my crutch, my soft spot, my rock. 

i’m waiting to hear what my wilderness says. she is quiet, she is stealth. she does not need to scream. she is not in mourning anymore. 

the world of wilderness is unkempt. it is bare and free. isn’t that how we’d all like to be? maybe we don’t. it’s this feeling of bare that wakes me up at two o’clock in the morning in a cold sweat, wondering if everyone’s really just seen me ride naked down the street on my bicycle. no, i think i do not wish to be bare. 

and as for free, who can say? i rather like the chain of this mortgage and these clients and this blog. but how can i be honest about this? it’s not the chain i love about the mortgage. it’s the freedom of living in a home that i own. but that’s not even it. it’s the freedom of putting whatever i want to up on the walls. but that isn’t even it. it’s the freedom of expressing myself in my own home. it’s the freedom of having such a place to express myself without anyone telling me, “hey, you can’t do that here!” 

but that’s not even it. 

it’s not external freedom i’m in search of. the freedom i’ve been in search of since i was a little girl—it’s hard to imagine that was ever the case, but I have pictures to prove it—is the freedom of self. to freedom to be myself. to speak my insides and get them on the outside. 

my dog is very good at this. my emotions, my gut, my intuition understands why. but my brain cannot comprehend. my brain has no words for the envy I have of my dog when he wakes up from a slumber and runs outside to relieve himself. my brain has no words for the envy I have when he picks up a toy and drops it in front of me, begging me to play, unknowing of whether or not I will accept his challenge. 

My dog has since moved on to his next wilderness, his body no longer able to sustain this one. Meanwhile, I’ve found a way to hide in mine, crouching into the imaginary darkness for fear of being bare and free, not even for the fear of being seen this way anymore.

And the reality is, we are all bare beneath our hidden layers no matter how good at the hiding we are. Might as well be seen this way, might as well be this way, it’s who we are and the darkness is (sometimes) only imaginary.

Do trees in need of sunlight hide beneath the weeds?