Walking in silence

“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” (John Muir)

I feel the same.

Bluebell forest (Belgium, April 2021)

Going in the wild means deflating the ego. Accepting ourselves as a tiny part of something large and amazing. Challenging our need for predictability, comfort, and control. Trying to see and understand rather than imposing ourselves.

But isn’t this true of our other explorations too? How do we venture outside the box if not in silence and without the baggage of expectations and fads?

We are social animals. We need connection and sharing to thrive. But exploring or creating something, big or small, depends on the kind of self-reflection and self-confrontation that’s usually done alone.

8 thoughts on “Walking in silence

  1. Yes. The hard part is, to silence the mind. You can go alone, bring nothing, but still have that chatter in the back of the mind… I read John Muirs memories, he would go into the heart of Yosemite with nearly nothing, wearing what people wore those days (no hiking shoes, hiking pants, ultra light sleeping bags) stay for a thunderstorm, sleep in the open … a life well lived.

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    1. True. I cannot always silence the mind. But being in the wild diminishes my anxiety and so I am more available for myself, here and now. It feels so pleasant and strange to be in the presence of something that nourishes without demanding or taking anything back.

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  2. I thought about this many times – where is my place? in the wilderness, in solitude (of any form) or in the grouped society structure? a healthy combination of these is the balance for me; I am alone when I create; I am alone when I contemplate; I am happy when I share, when I walk together with others, when I am part of a team that is working on meaningful projects that I do not deny. * I am grateful to you for bringing us together on this page of meaningful thoughts! So happy to see this virtual round table of people that I do not personally know, but I actually found them here and know them even better now for their love of nature and for their understanding of it – that we are part of this big puzzle, not “looking after it”. And this makes me very optimistic, indeed.

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