Wednesday, September 7, 2016
I really appreciate the point Gros made when he said that when making a major walking expedition, the outdoors changes its nature, changing from a transitory element to a stabile element. I’ve gone on multi-day hiking trips before, and he said something that I hadn’t clearly understood before. When I was on the trip, the entire point of the journey was not to reach the next campsite (that was just necessary for the night), but to enjoy the landscape. Living and journeying outdoors is a unique experience, and a lovely one.
I do disagree with him when he said that slowness is necessary. I am sure that walking slower when presented with a lovely view is the best way to go. But he is forgetting something important when he talks about taking long expeditions. The hiking trips I went on involved groups of my friends and rugged Tennessee hills. I loved walking and looking at the landscape. But sometimes the landscape calls for more; when walking past mounds of massive rocks, cracked boulders and mossy crumbling trees, the necessary response is clambering and leaping and running, even hollering to each other. These actions aren’t done with a mind to sport, simply with a mind full of joy. Observation shouldn’t be restricted to passive contemplation; that’s the beauty of a landscape. Unlike paintings and sculptures –which all have DO NOT TOUCH rules enforced by security guards— rocks, hills, brooks, and trees are tangible, climbable and splashable. Looking at a landscape is only the beginning; it should be touched and felt as well.