I am back from my Wilderness Quest but I left a piece of my soul and spirit on the mountains. The Return to everyday life has been difficult. I get impatient easily. I get annoyed with our materialistic society, I get frustrated with how fake our world can be.
I long for the magical mountains. I crave the deep silence and the solitude.
What Did I Do During Solo Time?
Naps, there were a lot of naps.
Many people I talked to expressed concerns with boredom. So much time on the mountains, can you bring a book? Nope. No book.
I spent much of Day 1 setting up my tarp, walking around and getting a sense of my surroundings.
Other things I did on those 4 days:
- Chop wood to make fire (I will never look at a tree the same way again)
- Listen to the bird song
- Wondering if it would ever stop snowing (Day 2 & 4…snowed)
- Sun bathing (Day 3: Hallelujah! Sunshine!)
- Play with wood
Journal Entry from Day 4
6:26 am: It’s been snowing for an hour now. I need to pee. Do I go out?
10:00 am: It is still snowing. My lips are so dry. I love the snow, it’s so pretty. My water is cold. I can hear the birds, I wonder what they are saying to each other.
11:04 am: It’s still snowing and it’s cold. I am under my tarp in my sleeping bag. I wonder if Carmen (the teacher) is coming to save me? (Turned out she came to our “check-in” spot to drop off hand warmers. Such a lovely woman)
BTW: the ravens stole the hand warmers.
1:30 pm: Why is it only 1:30 pm?!? Hungry. Cold. What am I going to do the rest of the day? Can’t wait to get back to base camp.
3:29 pm: Lovely, just had a nap and two different dreams. Still snowing. A good time to do a ritual to help with my fear of the dark.
7:08 pm: Oh! The fire is nice. Time to do another ritual and go to sleep. I hope it is not snowing tomorrow morning when we go back to base camp.
Day 4 was relentless. It was cold and it felt so long. My stomach growled all day.
But! I caught up on years of sleep and since I came back, people have told me I look younger.
What did I learn about myself?
1. I Can Do Anything (Almost)
I am a city girl and I was born in a tropical country. 35C weather all year. Before Quest, I have never been camping and I did not know how to make fire.
On the mountains for four days and four nights alone? Sleeping under a tarp with a sleeping bag? No tent? No food? Wild Animals?
On Day 2, I realized if I can make it through these four days, I can do almost anything. (No, I am still not jumping out of a plane. OH! Fear of heights, I will work on that at my next quest!)
If I can do it, so can you. Really, it is not as scary as you think.
2. Although I Dislike the Cold and Mother Nature is unpredictable…
Did I mention it was cold? It was the first time this region has seen precipitation in 17 years in May. When I woke up on Day 3, my water was half frozen.
What did I learn? As much as I dislike the cold, it is a mental thing. I had many layers of clothing, I built a small fire when I was cold and I was fine. I managed to quiet the doubts in my head and I enjoyed the different weather systems that passed through.
3. Trust & Surrender
Some of the thoughts that went through my mind:
- Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? What the heck am I supposed to be doing this lifetime? (DEEP questions)
- I wonder if the bears will show up? Coyotes?
- Crap! It’s only 9 am, what am I going to do all day? Nap!
- What if it never stop snowing and we get snowed in? (Yes, I worry!)
Solo time was hard but I loved it. When the weather got cold and my fear of the dark was heighten, I realized I had to trust and surrender.
There was nothing I could do about the weather and the conditions. I was on the mountains, I was safe although my mind had doubts and I trusted my teacher who was holding vigil at base camp. The rest was out of my control.
4. Human Being vs Human Doing
I had a hard time just “being”. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing anything “productive”. It became clear very quickly that many of my old beliefs had to be released.
I released a lot of anger, confusion, fears and grief on the mountains.
5. Fasting Is Not A Big Deal
I realized that my (old) relationship with food where I needed to have food around all the time, even though I was not hungry, was due to my upbringing.
Fasting for 100 hours was not that bad. I did not feel hunger until day 3. When my stomach growled, I drank water and that helped to subside my hunger. My digestive system is much happier since Quest.
Your body knows what to do. When you are on the mountains and you are not surrounded by food, you don’t think about food. It is not as hard as you think.
6. I Love Horses
Bonus: We got to ride horses from the lodge to base camp, it was my first time and I loved it! My horse’s name was Mini and she was a bit stubborn, she wanted to do things her own way. (A little bit like me)
“Whatever your reason for Questing, your journey begins the moment you say yes to it in your heart, and will continue to unfold long after you return from the mountain.”
People, it was magical. If you get a chance, do it.
I am seeing the benefits of my Quest every day. I walk around with a clearer sense of purpose. I am calmer. I am happier. l feel more connected to Source/Creator/Universe. I care less about what people think.
Will I do it again? Definitely! Sign me up for the next one.