A few months ago it was too cold to go outdoors. It seemed like hardly a week went by before it was too hot. I’ve heard every reason under the sun why people can’t do things outside. It is too hot. It is too buggy. It is too rainy. It is too humid. Its too dark out. There are too many bears. The sun is too bright. The trail is too steep. The ground is too hard. The water is too deep. The brush is too thick. The thorns are too sharp. The truth is, for most people, nature is too wild.
That’s right, nature is wild, and that’s what I like about it. Its a far stretch from the climate controlled, air-tight world we live in. Our houses, our cars, our offices, and the places we shop have their temperatures set to within a few degrees, and we run in between so as not to feel the discomfort. Most people will only venture out of their cages for extended periods 4 or 5 days per year when the weather is just right. That’s OKAY, the rest of us get 361 days to ourselves.
Nature is too natural, which is alright with me. There are bugs, there’s mud, the ground isn’t perfectly flat, sometimes it rains, and if you’re lucky enough, you might just see some wild animals. Nature changes constantly, with wild shifts in temperature, ferocious storms, and dramatic landscapes. Allowing yourself to feel these things rather than hiding from them brings out something natural in yourself.
Nature is too liberating. It frees us from the the padded cells we are all too accustomed to. When most people feel freedom, they don’t know what to do with it, which is why men are so easily ruled by tyrants. Most shy away from the stinging rain or the burning sun, but the free man embraces the fresh mist and the warming rays of nature. Nature is too far away. This one is unfortunately becoming more and more true. As cities expand and suburbs sprawl ever outward, true wilderness becomes a distant legend. Escaping into it cannot be done in an afternoon outing, but requires firm commitment to go further and stay longer.
Many prisoners of civilization will never know how trapped they are. The rest of us long for something all too natural.