"Wildness is the state of complete awareness. That's why we need it."

-Gary Snyder

On weekends, in the winter, we leave town whenever possible and make the three and a half hour drive west, up into the secretive mountains of west virginia. tucked between coal fields, wind farms and little known hollows and swamps, there is a beautiful line of mountains that catches the last breath of moisture off of lake Erie, and pulls it down to earth in white powdery snow that offers a tiny piece of the Rockies in the mid-Atlantic. They have had 10 feet of snow so far there this winter to our 5 inches in DC. that's pretty average. 

It may be a cliche, but I go to the mountains for the silence, the remembrance of my self as an embodied creature, and the forgetting of myself as all the thoughts and emotions that are tangled in the web of my city existence, my job, home, children's schedules. here i am no one... just a small piece of warmth humming in the midst of the bitter cold. for the cost of gas and the willingness to brave the night temperatures in your car or tent, or the offer to cook for a friend who lives here, this place is yours for free. State park and wilderness areas stretch for miles in any direction, yours for the traveling, if you have a pair of cross country skis. in the motion of my body, in the simplicity of the struggle up the mountains and the ecstasy of coming back down, fast, i find awareness. freedom. quiet. the present moment.

i haven't figured out how to keep that when i return to the city, but  it is like meditation: it changes you, and you just return to it over and over again, wearing away habits over time, if you are lucky.

Here is a beautiful video by jordan manley which captures some of that feeling of the wild, though way, way crazier  than anything we ever do :)

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