Last summer when I was in the Adirondacks, I cried the first time I set out on a hike. My parents had both so recently passed away, and as I hit the trail, carrying a canoe with my boyfriend, heading under the canopy of tress, I was overwhelmed with joy. And I burst into tears because I realized at that moment that I was going to have so many more happy times in my life I would never share with my parents again. It was confusing.
But it was healing, too, to be in the place I love so much, to be surrounded by the stoic grandeur of decades-old trees. To be in lakes whose shapes haven’t changed much in the hundreds of years since Americans discovered them (and probably even more hundreds of years that the native Americans had lived there).
When the water reflects only the endless blue sky, it’s easy to breathe deep and feel the wondrous gift of being nothing but a blip in the history of humanity—to free myself from the burden of consciousness, the weight of the ego. The shimmering planes of water and sky remind me I am large only to myself and those who love me; to the ancient world I am merely a being for the short time I am here, momentary and forever new.