This I Believe

Evan - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Evan S


This I believe essay

I believe in the power of Wilderness

I believe in the power of wilderness. I cherish it for all that it has ever done to clean the earth, build knowledge, and inspire people. I have found that it is a powerful experience to walk into the wild and be completely unplugged and alone. I formed my belief in the power of wilderness two summers ago when my troop did a 50-mile hike in the Pasayten wilderness of north central Washington. On this hike we embarked as a troop of overscheduled, overworked people and disembarked as a team. While riding the potent high of that hike I figured out a few pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of life. And if I arrange those pieces just right you might call it wisdom.

I learned that actions speak louder than words. The wilderness is a place where you can truly measure yourself. When you climb 4,000 feet over 13 miles in a day you have only yourself to pat on the back. Talk is cheap and unnecessary when you have a panorama of an unfolding sunset. I am constantly talked to death and the wilderness is a refuge where I can listen to myself.

I learned the power to listen. We listened to each other around the campfire as we heard the wise Cowboy Leroy reminisce of times when the west was truly wild. I listened to the still air at 7,000 feet and heard my fluttering heartbeat. The more that I understood the power of listening; the more I understood that maybe words aren’t always the best form of communication. Many wise people have talked about walking in the wild to find them selves. I now know that the wilderness is the only place left where I can truly listen to what I have to think.

On the hike I learned to live in the present moment. I won’t remember last Monday or last Friday or probably even today but I remember every single day that I have spent in the wilderness. I can attribute that to the fact that there are no distractions, options, or choices in what happens out there. Every time that I am in the wilderness I am living completely in the present moment.

I believe in the wilderness for all that it has ever done to clean the earth, build knowledge, and inspire people. Its nice to know that when everything gets a little to crazy there is a wilderness out there for all of us.