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I am passionate about this Earth, for the fire, the water, the air, and the ultimate relationship we can experience between all of these things. When I enter the supreme retreat beyond civilization by giving my life to the mountains, I can hear the ancient being inside of me singing, sometimes even screaming. And it is then I feel that delicate, most powerful feeling of my mind connecting to my spine, down through my legs and into my toes, where the ground meets and pulls me in. That gut wrench, the uprising of the heart calling for what it wants, is the most liberating yet terrifying feeling I’ve yet to know.

Now standing, speaking a language of dilated tones, I hear a truth too hard to bruise but too delicate to push aside and hide away. Paralyzed by the position of cultural responsibility and the battle between a life I am fiery to lead, I can only stutter past the undying pressures presented by these fast moving cities and the corporate commercialism injected into our veins. Fortunately, my time spent in the mountains has given me the confidence and ambition to walk in the direction of my dreams. In wilderness, we are given the opportunity to be our purest selves, our most noble beings. Letting the forest be our castle with the immense ridges as our thrown, we experience nothing but the richest of gifts. Unpainted by the uncomfortable grip of a humane society, we are welcomed back into the finest of homes where all things offer themselves as teachers. Exploring the roots of our own creation, knowing we were all born in the same arms of this beautiful mother.

My passion does not belong to the books nor the TV screens or the heavy sirens bustling us back to class. No, my passion does not swim through the clattering seas of our absent culture or the winged obsession of wanting more. My heart, my deepest root of longing, is captured in the singing sorrow of the mountains, standing motionless in peace and honor. The mountains that have seen us come, watched us go, and who have endured patiently while we rummage deeper and deeper into the meaning of being human.

I want to live for more than a fancy car, shiny shoes, and a hungry wallet. Sure, I used to dream of such things, the idea of growing up to build a big house with that perfect picket fence and little green grass lawn. Not that it is wrong to want these things, but I have learned that they are no longer for me. This land is the gold mine I want to touch, for it is everything. These mountains that some only meet in the pages of books, are the teachers I long to learn from. And this world, the world I know so little of, is one I dream to explore, to heal, and to love.

I want to know what it means to grow my own food and to live on the land that it comes from. I want to be able to use the water from my sink and my shower to feed the living things in my garden. I want to understand the true principles of stacking functions, connecting all the living and nonliving systems in a design. I am drawn to such a life because this Earth, the Earth who has nurtured us since birth, is now calling for us to care for her. When I am up late at night, exploring the art of insomnia, I can sometimes hear her, crying into the wind and through my trees, sending prayers through each of our windows. And as I listen, my heart finds the rhythm of her calls and follows it.

This sense of knowing, of feeling the intense gravity pulling me towards a new horizon, captures my every sense and triggers my purest questions. I long to know how we survive, how I will survive, without that crucial momentum generated by divine happiness; the happiness soaked in the soil of a land so foreign to our culture. I myself know that I must explore this world from top to bottom until I know who I really am. It’s about feeding that conscience who slaps my hands as I reach for the plastic container and that disables my fingers as I race for the car door. It’s not about saving the planet; it’s about saving the people who must understand in order to heal our Earth. Often we lose that supreme connection between people that must be built before any revolution can be born.

Lifted by the great power of Nature, I am inspired to be something more than I ever thought I could be. Dreaming of being that hidden something in the secrets of the water, that jewel that flies through each breath untaken in the air, and the treasure that waits patiently in the high limbs of each ancient Redwood. Trusting a heart that still hasn’t returned from the mountains, I know I will not live in stillness. Waiting for me over each rolling ridge and spiny peak on top of the world, I shuffle eagerly to travel afar, until one day my heart will follow me back. I want to challenge the steady stream of routine and reach my potential that’s dying to show herself to the world.

I leap from one world to the next, sun dried, chasing that ever-running conscience, scraping this town for love. We are all artists at work, undeveloped by the nature of four hands, on the verge of discovering our infinite capabilities. City lights and chaos speaking in an accent too crystallized to hear, and the moments glazed by the dreariness of the foggy Monday morning are the moments waiting for the eternal clutch of the pinpoint of devotion. So I wait, ready to be taken by the spirits of passion, a love I’ve been searching for. And as the skin of the Earth seduces my hands in the soil, I touch the layers of the land- the layers more thick than a sponge rolled in honey- and slowly, I am finding my way back home.

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