A Searching and Fearless Adventure

by Mike A.

There was a man alone and lost in the wilderness. He wasn’t sure how he got there; he tried everything he could and yet he was still lost and still in the wilderness, alone. He heard in his head what his family told him a million times: “you can’t do this,” “you will always be this way,” and “you are just weak.” But somewhere inside he had hope that they were wrong. And since hope springs eternal, he crossed his fingers and kept searching, looking for a new way of living.

Shortly before the sun was about to set, his survival mode kicked in. “Shelter,” he thought. He took a deep breath trying to quiet his mind, and inspiration came: a leaf hut! As he trudged the road searching for a good spot to rest, he picked up every big stick he saw. Some were perfect, some were not; he kept what he needed and left the rest. More quickly than he imagined, he had a pile of sticks. “Now I need a rock,” he thought. But with the fading light he was fearful, so when he quietly uttered, “God help me,” he surprised himself. And as if on cue, he tripped over the rock he needed. He looked up at the darkening sky, smiled, and shook his head.

Banging each stick into the ground at an angle so the top of the leaf hut would be narrow and the base would be wide, with only one open side, he thought, “I’m lucky this ground is soft.” This thought also surprised him. He couldn’t believe he was alone in the wilderness with night setting in thinking himself lucky, but he began to look at this differently; “Maybe there is a way out.”

He picked up leaves, moss and grass and put them on the roof, climbed in and finally rested. He fell asleep quickly and was wakened later by rain. His leaf hut was holding, and he was grateful he would stay dry through this storm. He took off his t-shirt and put it on the roof. “I’ll squeeze the water out of the shirt in the morning, and have something to drink. It’s good to have a plan.” Then he drifted back to sleep.

When the sun came up, he was relieved to know where he was, but not sure he could make the long hike back alone. Inspiration came to him again, an old proverb that said “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” He told himself, “I can take that single step,” and he did.

Thirsty, he drank the water from his rain-soaked shirt, and began. He started the journey hungry, but knew that feelings don’t kill, only inaction does. Then he saw a berry bush and realized that he was getting exactly what he needed, when he needed it.

With more hope than when he began, his pace quickened. He started to see this journey not as the nightmare he was afraid of, but the adventure he had always dreamed of.