“When from our better selves we have too long been parted by the hurrying world, and droop. Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, how gracious, how benign is solitude.” – William Wordsworth
Written in Grand Teton National Park in July 2012
“On the banks of the rolling Snake river as the sun dips below the horizon I feel at peace, relaxed, invigorated. When in such a place my mind has no want or desire but to stay in this moment forever. Til eternity I could sit on the shore of this river, listening to it babble downstream while the elk graze on the bank across from me, the geese tend to their goslings and the trout surface to snatch bugs on the water.
It is not just this scenery which I find attractive but the isolation which accompanies such scenery. Not isolation in the radical sense such as Chris McCandless but in practical sense. Isolation or solitude – in a practical sense – is a time to escape the day, the worries and the people, to sit outdoors alone and feel the woods, see the woods, hear the woods. The woods, outdoors, nature, whatever you want to call it, has a healing effect, replacing troubles with tranquility, stress with serenity and crisis with comfort.
While I know this to be true, I cannot provide concrete evidence. The outdoors do not provide a tangible gift of love. However, anyone who has spent any time of solitude in the woods senses the intangible gifts nature has to offer to anyone willing to accept. The comfort from the outdoors come, though, not from some earth spirit or “Mother Nature”, but from God who created it all. Having built the earth from nothing, anything that takes place or residence on the earth is from God’s mysterious hand. The experience of being in solitude with nature is in part being in solitude with God.
For as one relaxes in the outdoors, one cannot help but contemplate the origins of such a wonderful place. The design is so precise and intricately connected that it is difficult not to see a creator in it. Atheism scoffs at the notion of God. The concept of a creator is both illogical and irrational. Yet, when I contemplate the origins of this world I find it much more irrational to believe all life started with randomly, evolving chemicals and compounds.”