One of the best things about the outdoor lifestyle is coming in from the cold. The experience of deep exhaustion coupled with the happy satisfaction which arrives after the excitement and danger are past, and we’re safe and warm again in our home.
Emily and I were numb and shivering after riding the motorcycle home from the beach last night; covered in sand and wearing only wet swimsuits and riding gear. I told her to take a long, hot shower while I prepared cheeseburgers for the family. She emerged from her steamy bath with that supercharged glow of life which comes only of deep living, and she quickly asked for another cheeseburger after wolfing down the first. An hour later she was fast asleep with her dog on the sofa, enjoying the dark dreamless depths of sleep which the body always demands when we’ve pushed ourselves just a little too far.
I hope she’ll like going too far. And perhaps grow into a woman who’s willing to take risks. To look to nature as a teaching muse, a place to play, a forum for the composition of character and thought.
I haven’t yet introduced her to solitude. But I expect that’s something she’ll have to find on her own. But I’ve noticed how she often wanders away from me in wild places; on the beach, in the sea, in her mind. I think she’s found the path and has begun taking steps. Eager steps from what I’ve so far seen. I’ll need to let her go. Stay behind while she walks further than my aging legs can follow or swims deeper than my fears will allow. And maybe after she’s returned, has been showered, fed and rested, maybe then she can tell me a little of what she’s found there in the solitary dark.