Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Longing for the woods

Posted by Frum Hiker on November 5, 2007

Insatiable wanderlust is unlike any feeling I have ever known, the older I get the more it tugs at me to discover what lies around every bend, up every mountain and across every field. Not only does it hold me in its grasp, it gets tighter and tighter as the years go on. I cannot explain such a feeling to any person, the person who understands me most has the same desire, unrelenting desires to be alone with nature. Its not about being antisocial I can constantly hear myself explaining to the unknowing about my disease-like condition. I have my community like you have yours, but my community is small and tends to partake in their desires to the extreme, nothing is ever good enough- simply put its like a drug, a drug that drives most to the wilderness to seek out a cure for the pain of longing.

The only way I can relate this feeling to others is to put it in lamens terms- think about the woman you long for and just cannot reach, and when you reach her and grab her you just want more of her. Sometimes it is so out of reach and that folks do seemingly crazy things to put the wild within their reach. Though it is not only the wild, this needs to be explained for while driving down the road passing farmhouses and roaring brooks can cure the desire for just a moment, a fleeting moment that comes to a crash whenever a strip mall or interstate highway appears- breaking us out of our dreamy drive and back into reality as they say- although my reality is much different, you see my reality is the outdoors. The matrix for me is the working life and the life of stores and auto malls, my real life the one I live outside the matrix, my reality is commune with nature.

I feel a home paddling down a gentle stream, riding through the woods on a mountain bike and hiking up steep mountain passes with 2 weeks of supplies on my back, this when I am complete. Material possessions mean nothing to me, less they will me the ability to leave the matrix and enter into my reality. Vehicles that can allow me to enter the woods under my own power are all I want. I say bleh to the TV’s, Ipods and computers. I can type on a library computer and write in my notebook. Yes I own some of these items, but how I long to throw all my neccsities in the trunk of my car and set out into the great unknown.

Does every man long to travel west, hitchhike, by car or by freight train, is this pining in every mans heart? I wonder these things amidst a feeling of depression, I have no idea where this feeling came from. The feeling of being alone is great, but only for the time being. Someone to understand my longing, my desperate attempt to save myself from corporate society and the caste system we know as suburbia. Can somebody save me from the grips of modernity, throw away everything save for a potbellied stove and several knives, maybe an iron skillet. Give me my boots and my freedom and you can keep all your STUFF!!!

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One Response to “Longing for the woods”

  1. Homeschool Mom said

    Have you read the book “Dove” by Robin Graham? He also wrote a sequel called “Home is the Sailor”. He tells the story of how he sailed around the world alone, at sixteen, and what came after. They are great reading especially since you could relate so well to his wanderlust.

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