Reflections from my three weeks hike through the Alps.
Inventory of newly or re-discovered fears:
Fear to be hit by storm or lightning (when I am outdoors and don’t know where the next shelter is). Fear of barking dogs behind fences which I pass (yes, despite the fence). Fear of not having enough to eat or too little water. Fear of sounds I can’t identify (when I am alone outdoors, in a tent, at night). Fear of a man following me if I smile too open or start a conversation.
Walking alone is like constantly looking into the inner mirror – confronting the most basic instincts, needs, reactions to new situations.
There is no comfort zone as we normally define it – even in a comfortable guesthouse I am aware of my basic need for safety, which I satisfy in this moment, because I overstretched my tolerance for unsafety before.
My need to eat, to sleep calm and regenrate, to find shelter from wind and rain, to clean me and my things, also to be among other people sometimes to feel secured, but also to be alone again so I can truly be with me and merge with nature, all of this speaks more loudly and is more visible than in normal daily life.
And I am glad to get to know me in this way. And also thankful for civilization sometimes, for a night – to then get back to the wild again. Swinging back and forth between the two, outside and inside.