I am not a fan of micromanaged environments; I prefer things a little tempestuous, things on the edge of something else; like dawn and twilight, when changing light is transforming everything, or a storm front, when the atmosphere brings the transformation. Something in me is charging at that point, about to be released, and riding during those times is better than any static experience. Movement and action are the vehicle for something even more important: crossing the threshold of a frontier, ANY frontier, and I am my own engine.

I presume that in a right condition of our nervous nature, instead of our being, as some would tell us, less exposed to the influences of nature, we should in fact be altogether open to them….be a thorough-fare for Nature in all and each of her moods and feelings, stormy or peaceful, sunshiny or sad. The soul of man should keep clear and steady and great…” (MacDonald)

Let me find the next peak, the next valley, the next turn and the next surprise.

Let me find the next peak, the next valley, the next turn and the next surprise.

Like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show, I want the kind of escape that means I CAN’T predict what might happen next – I climb into the boat alone and sail beyond the artificial until I bump into the edge of what has become altogether too known, too safe, and THEN I know I am at the starting place of a real journey. Then it is about challenge and victory, discovery and wonder. Who wants to live in all manipulated moments? Not me. Let me find the next peak, the next valley, the next turn and the next surprise. To be in charge of the departure from the norm – I LOVE that. I am heading out into the unexpected under my own steam, and in doing that, I have removed the victim and created the victor. AND I LOVE BEING THE VICTOR, not because I defeat a competitor, but because I stomp my complacency.

“If nature is our mother, she makes a rather severe, somewhat heartless, one. Mistaken for our mother, she is terrifying and even abominable. But if she is only our sister – if she and we have a common Creator – if she is our sparring partner – then the situation is quite tolerable.” (Lewis)

Now THAT I can appreciate: a sparring partner. I am invigorated by a righteous fight – the kind that I can believe in, with no regret. Is it too hot? Too bad. Is the wind frustrating? Deal with it. Steep climb? Suck it up. When I don’t give myself excuses, then I grow. To gradually and steadily challenge myself into the smaller fraction of people who WILL do what I just made myself do is to hear my losing weakness whisper, “give up,” and my growing strength growl, “MAKE ME.”