Sometimes the world becomes so stressful, so rushed and so crowded that you feel as if you are staring at a cluttered desk with so much to do and not enough time. Sometimes expectations pile up like bricks on your chest until you feel like you can’t breathe any more. When it feels like the weekend just can’t come fast enough, or a vacation is just too far off that’s when you need an escape.
Take a look at that picture. I took that last summer when I was off camping in the woods of Maine. By canoeing up the rivers and streams toward Canada my cousin and I found places that seemed utterly untouched by mankind. All around, the only things that could be heard were birds chirping, and the sound of our paddles in the water. I kept my eyes peeled in the hopes that we might see a moose lapping water from the edge of the lake. The breeze was cool and kept us from over-heating as we paddled upriver. The further we went, the further from civilization we got, and eventually no matter where we looked we could find no evidence of mankind.
It’s hard to explain the feeling of peace that comes with being in such a place. We were so far removed from obligations and responsibilities. We entered into a world without requirements, a place with no taxes, no war, no heartbreak. It’s in a place like that, so far removed from society that you can get a taste of what the world was like before we came along.
As I spend day after day working, going to classes, writing papers and studying I am inexorably drawn to thinking of the untamed wilderness of the north where you can taste freedom on the wind. Living in nature would be a great challenge. Yet when confronted by finals week, I find myself if hunting and fishing for survival would be more preferable.
As summer draws near, and my time to return to Maine comes closer, I can’t help thinking about the Maine wilderness, a defiant front by mother nature toward man’s encroachment. As long as the trees still stand, so too will the taste of freedom in the mountain air.