This time last year, we were madly packing and preparing to fly out to Denver/Boulder for a conference/calling + backpacking adventure. The conference was work; the backpacking was our reward. We survived the rarified atmosphere of the historic B0ulderado Hotel (Uh, I can walk my own bag down the stairs, thanks), and then we survived the trail into the basin and up to the Continental Divide.
We enjoyed ourselves hugely.
I found wildflowers galore!
We found lots of snow in the middle of Summer.
Some of it was hair-raising to cross.
Some of it was merely, breath-takingly picturesque.
In between exertions, we had brief moments to relax and take it all in.
A working retreat, if you will. Not that we were doing our usual work. We were working to haul 25-40 pound packs up steep elevations. We were working to plan our safety, our path, the location of our next meal or stop. Hike, sweat, eat, breathe. Set up camp, break it down. Avoid the large animals. Avoid afternoon lightening. Filter water. Take a few photographs, take it all in. Our lives were reduced to the essentials.
Most of the time, such retreats are islands of calm intensity in our everyday lives. Ones focus changes dramatically. It's so jarring to then have to come back to everyday civilization and to hear cars and buses or the chatter of everyday lives, to be surrounded by plastic and metal. Our eyes search for the far-off vista of wilderness. At the same time, you carry the wilderness with you, tucked away inside. You can imagine yourself back on the path. You know it's there, waiting, even if you are caught in the fast-paced concrete wilds of modern life.
Moss Campion can grow half an inch in five years. It may be ten years old before flowering, twenty years old before flowering profusely. The wilderness moves on its own time. Breathe. Remember patience.