I don’t talk about God much, but I talk to God much. Always have. In the woods as a kid is where I did it the most. Sitting on a log usually amidst the trees and bushes and shrubs. I thought it the best place to try to hear Him. I grew up Catholic. An alter boy even. But, I didn’t let that change my belief in God.
I came across another book, It is Toward Evening. The title sort of gave me a nice feeling when I read it initially. I like books, especially the ones that don’t look like they get read too much. And they have that old book smell about them with finely textured pages. It’s a religious book, but I find wisdom in it anyway.
The other morning I was literally thumbing the pages. Just letting them fall this way and that. Kind of like shuffling a deck of cards. It was relaxing, the rhythmic “sssshhhhhtttt…sssshhhhtttt…sssshhhhtttt” of the pages.
I don’t believe in coincidences.
I stopped shuffling on page 18 of the book. It was Chapter 4. The title was “What Went Ye Out . . . to See?” The ellipses were part of the title.
The chapter is about preachers in the author’s day preaching a popular worldly message and not God’s message (???), but the question itself struck a cord in me.
What did you go out into the wilderness to see?
I have been quietly asking myself that question for some months now. “What do you expect to find on these hikes in the woods and deserts and mountains?”
Now, given my age, a lot of folks would call this a mid-life crisis. I would correct them and call it a whole life crisis. This is nothing new.
I don’t have any one answer to that question. It was the same question that I asked about going to the ocean. I suppose I expect to find myself. Find God. Find Nature. Find Peace. Find more questions.
Should I even go expecting to find anything? Maybe I should go to lose something. Perhaps I’m compelled to do these hikes not because of what I’ll find, but what I’ll leave behind.
And then, that word expect. It implies supposition, presumption. I probably should not go expecting anything.
I should just go.
I think in this day and age, we all do a lot of expecting. Do we spend so much time expecting that we are not truly living?
I left my phone on the boat this morning as I left for work. It was an accident. But, once I realized it (too late to do anything about it) there was this feeling of . . . anxiety? Not because I need my phone. Work uses it way more than I do. Work calls me during my time when I ‘m not there. Mornings. Evenings. Nights. It doesn’t happen often. Though it does happen often enough that it might be considered a regular occurrence. I’m not even important. Really. I’ve even requested to not be important. Pleaded even.
Every time it rings, I expect it to be work. No one else really calls.
It feels good, however, to NOT have that phone weighing me down. I know for sure that will be the very first thing that I leave behind. And it’s not even the phone. It’s the expectation. I will be able to leave the expectation behind.
Of course when I get to work . . .”Why weren’t you answering your phone?” And this was before my scheduled time to be there. I even expected the question to be asked.
What did you go into the wilderness to see?
I went to see nothing. And in that find everything.