Friday, July 1, 2011

Into the Woods

There was a time in my life that I dreamed of being a mountain woman -- living in a cabin in the middle of the woods, spending my days discovering what nature had to teach.   I didn't happen in the way that I had hoped, but I did get the chance to spend a summer in the mountains of Utah as a counselor at a girls camp.  I lived in a little cabin nestled among the pine trees.   My days were anything but quiet, but they were fun.  We hiked, and cooked, and built fires, and sang.   But nights -- nights were a time of quiet, when I could sit outside and look at the billions of stars shining overhead, and think.   It was one of the best experiences of my life.   I miss the mountains, they are home.  I think most people I know feel that way about the ocean, but not me.  It's the aspen and pine that call my name.

Claire had a chance to walk away from the noise recently.  She spent the last 40 days in the high desert of Arizona, climbing mesas and forging trails through brush and sand -- over 150 miles of hiking with nothing but a blanket, a tarp, a cup, a knife, a canteen, and a small bag of food.  She too has learned what nature has to teach, and it has changed her.

Claire discovered that she is strong, and that she can do hard things, like carry all her belongings on her back, fight off bears in the middle of the night, and build fire with sticks.

On the last two days of her journey, Matt and I got to go along.   It began with a long two hour drive down a bumpy dirt road, and then a then a hike into the trees to find her.

It was a sweet reunion.

Claire became the mountain woman that I only dreamed of.

I'm hoping that she can tutor me so that I can do hard things too.



Mormishmom @ Funky PolkaDot Giraffe said...

Stop it! That was amazing. And was a life changing experience she must have had over those 40 days. I am in awe.

Eunice said...

Let's go. I've always wanted to do something like that. I can't even imagine what a life changing experience that would be. Was it technology free?

Nanette said...

That is fantastic! I grew up in Lake Tahoe and all of my favorite memories include nature. I miss it something fierce. So happy for her!

Angie said...

So proud of all of you! :)

Jenni said...

this post is so emotional and i read it with giant tears streaming down my face.

first, to be without your daughter for 40 days had to be so hard! i can't even imagine what that was like, but your reunion had to be something kind of amazing! that picture of her hugging her dad is what got me, you can feel the love. and the picture of you three of you is beautiful.

second, claire does look like a changed young lady, she looks strong and powerful, and so beautiful in all of her fire making glory! how cool was that video!
she is ready for the next season of survivor! no one would know how strong she really is!

meg duerksen said...

this made me cry.
she is so beautiful and it looks like she is happy. i hope she was. truly. what an awesome experience for her.

Rachel said...

Got the chills....awesome! We are so glad she is home!

Eve said...

That video was awesome. It made me hopeful that I can raise a strong daughter who can do hard things, too.

Genevieve said...

WOW! What an awesome experience!!

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

That video is seriously so cool! What an amazing experience!! No wonder she brought a tick home... :)