“How wild it was, to let it be.” – Cheryl Strayed.
Ever since I was a little girl, books have always been my favorite thing.
When you read as frequently as I do, once in a few dozen books you find one that alters your reality. It changes your views and you find yourself struggling to go back to life before you opened your mind to a world that a writer created – JUST FOR YOU.
Thanks to the Seattle Public Library, I stumbled across an e-book called Wild by Cheryl Strayed and downloaded it as one of my summer reads. The book rattled my bones so much so that I ordered the paperback immediately after I read the e-book and had it shipped overnight. Having it in my possession became so important to me, it was as if having the actual book would be like having the emotions I experienced in the palms of my hands. Holding each gasp, each tear and each giggle I endured as I read each page.
I believe that each book you read will have meaning to you and guide you in such a way that is needed in the moment. That is what Cheryl Stray’s Wild did for me, I read this book at a point where I needed assurance that living with a free-spirited mindset, that following your dreams and your instinct was okay and sometimes what others perceive as running away isn’t running at all, it is searching for answers that you cannot find in the confines of a classroom or an office, nor can you find it in your comfort zone. It’s a story to remind you that every journey is true to you, that no matter the perspective others may have only you are able to fully comprehend what the journey meant, what lessons were learnt and why it was important to you.
Cheryl, during hardship and hurt chose to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State – ALONE. It is a journey she went through in order to not only deal with her many griefs but to find her true self, unravel the pain she had never been able to face, and to finally know how strong of a woman she really is.
The fluidity of her experience put onto paper is outstanding, it starts off slow but gradually drawing you in as you read of her mom’s death and how her family drifted apart because of it, as well as her divorce and how all of these things had never been dealt with until she found herself in the middle of the desert with nothing to distract her from her thoughts.
I think we all experience our own Pacific Crest Trail in our own right, be it going on an actual trek of your own or even a social media sabbatical which seems necessary for me in finding direction on what to post next. Cheryl had no prior knowledge of hiking nor was she mentally equipped and to the outside, all it looked like was her running away from her problems – possibly to her own death. Something did indeed die on that trail, a broken woman, a hurt and emotionally traumatized young girl that had no idea how to deal with grief the universe had handed her and she came out strong, courageous and conquered more than what she set herself to do.
This really is a must read.
I tried not to divulge too much but here is an excerpt that I love from the book:
“It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That it was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.”