Wander Always & Stay Wilde


In the Quiet, In the Stillness

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. 

– John Muir


From a very young age, I have always had a fascination with the outdoors. I remember as a child, my cousins and I would go into the woods to pick freshly grown blueberries in the summertime. Little did we know that we were not merely picking fruit, but were having little adventures of our own. Even though we were children all under the age of ten, on each adventure we not only were able to explore uncharted territory, but we were able to test our limits and fears in the wild. And yet, amid uncertainties, I remember feeling free and safe. There was a stillness within the forest that presented a sense of security for me. These woods offered no trails or paths. Mind you, we did not venture out far, (well, far for children of that age), nevertheless, we had to trust our instincts to help us find our way back home. It is funny because we wandered into the same wood on every adventure, but it was as if each time we ventured between the trees, the forest offered an ever-changing experience for us.


To this day, I still hold that same awe-struck wonder when in nature. There is a certain stillness in the organic order of the outdoors- in the way trees are aligned in a forest or the way water flows in a river. In the stillness of the forest, it is as though the trees are giving off the very oxygen needed to catch your breath from all of life’s uncertainties. And yet, within that stillness, there is a pure energy of life. Although much older now, I feel an even greater awareness of that same peace within nature than when I was younger. When entering the outdoors now, I feel as though my mind is cleansed, so in a sense, I do “lose my mind,” as the opening statement.  It is no secret that life is filled with chaos, noise, and distraction, but to give in to the noise would be to lose a part of oneself. In the quiet, in the stillness, is when you can revert to the things that fill your soul. Sometimes, you just need to disconnect from societal sounds and just listen within the silence.


Shakespeare once said, “the earth has music for those who listen.” Nature is able to cut through the silence and speak through its own language:

The sound of waves crashing against a shore,

The rustling of the leaves in the middle of a forest,

The sound of the wind that can be heard standing at the edge of a cliff,

The chirping of birds at the crack of dawn,

The rush of energy from a waterfall.


How often do we allow ourselves to listen to the voice that is urging us ever so gently to retreat to quietness? Are we able to take the time to disconnect from the world to regain our sense of self? For me, nature and the outdoors allow an inner peace within my soul and an ability to find balance in my day. A naturalist and environmental philosopher, John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Whichever avenue is taken to achieve a stillness and sense of balance in life, I believe that will leave you with more fullness than you had initially. You gain not only a certain calm within your spirit but a new understanding and perspective on the world.


This Earth Day, I am taking the time within the stillness to reflect upon the majesty of God’s creation and all I have learned from my adventures in nature. I traveled to many places in my life, but what added meaning to those adventures was taking the time to have quiet moments to connect to what brings joy to my soul. Finding balance is the key to restoring your soul, and it is something we must strive for daily. Beyond all of the noise that everyday life offers, there is a voice that can only be heard in a whisper, urging you to be still. It can only be heard in the quiet moments of the day. It is continually calling to you. The quieter you become, the more you can hear. Sometimes, the voice doesn’t exactly use words, like in nature, but you still must listen. Find a place where you can allow yourself to surrender your insecurities and anxiousness and find a moment of stillness. 


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