There is a pleasure in the pathless woods / There is a rapture on the lonely shore / There is society, where none intrudes / By the deep sea, and music in its roar / I love not man the less, but Nature more…George Gordon Byron
Yesterday morning I woke up and I felt different. I woke up in a bed, I went in the kitchen and I made the coffee, I had a shower and I went to the office walking in the city, amongst cars, trams and a lot of people. These could seem normal activities but not for us after Dive into yourself, a 8-days personal development training course in nature doing hiking, climbing, making bonfire, sharing all the moments with other people and without any technological communication means, singing (the best radio ever!), diving, diving into ourselves, staying in the wood alone, staying alive :).
Location: Mountain Velebit – the largest mountain in Croatia. 8 days in the forest, on the rock, across the mountain, next to the sea and in the sea, next to other people and in the deepest part of ourselves.
Yesterday morning I watched the city life with different eyes, the city noises seemed deafening to me, the phone and the laptop annoying, people looked completely distracted, tired and in a hurry, as if there’s no time to look each other in the eyes, listen and smile.
And a beautiful song of Eddie Vedder came to my mind (Into the Wild soundtrack):
“Society, have mercy on me
I hope you’re not angry if I disagree
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you’re not lonely without me”
The following is my reflection during the “SOLO”, our 6 hours completely alone in the wood with a sleeping bag, a mat and a tarp, some ropes, some food and a lamp.
SOLO – Saturday 29 (I think so) August 2015
Usually I like to start writing with the time but today I don’t know what time is it.
First sign that today is not a common day.
You could say: “Ok, look at your phone”. My phone? Last time I saw it was 6 days ago. Second sign.
“Ok, you can ask somebody else”. No, I can’t. I’m alone and I don’t know when I will meet other people, maybe tomorrow morning, or maybe tomorrow afternoon. Third sign.
“Ok, turn on the TV, the radio, look at the alarm clock…!” Nothing, I don’t have any technological stuff! Fourth sign.
Ok, we could continue for hours and hours… so, this is the point: I’m alone in the wood with my sleeping bag, some food, a bottle of water and warm clothes. And, as you can well imagine, with a pen and papers.
I arrived one hour ago (or more?!) after a silent goodbye to my new family – my adventure companions.
List of things that I did until now
1) I decided where is my bathroom and I put the toilet paper as my flag in this area.
2) I used my personal eau de toilette against mosquitoes and I can’t stop thinking that it’s also against me and my nose.
3) I was sure that I would sleep outside but I decided to build a kind of bivouac. It’s a very very improvised bivouac but I think it could work. There’s enough space for me and my backpack (or maybe for me without my backpack, or at the end I will put the backpack inside and I will sleep outside)
4) Me and my mattress we are in my new living room and I decided to start writing. I will do a list of positive things that I discovered and that are my “little but huge” moments of happiness.
5) I cannot help saying that I have with me a peach and CHOCOLATE. This is also happiness :).
Things that I love about these days
1) CLIMBING: it was my big challenge (until now!). The first time I tried to climb (two weeks ago) I quit and I was sure that I wouldn’t be good enough (again) to do it.
So I started and… I did it, also if I had some breaks and… I cried (liberation tears!).
My belayer helped me a lot encouraging me and I think that I wouldn’t do it without trusting him so much.
But this is the proof that sometimes we prefer to escape then to afford our fears and that the best thing to do is to destroy the wall we built to protect us and to hide our weaknesses.
I’m happy because I create a new sport: Crying Climbing or Rock Crying.
Positive aspect (there’s always a positive aspect): the day after I enjoyed even more climbing to a peak, I smiled and the final view seemed to me a beautiful treasure.
2) FIRE: the bonfire is a magic thing. It’s looking to the others, feel warm and peaceful, it’s pushing all the problems and bad thoughts away.
3) WALKING IN THE NATURE: we are everyday on Instagram to like pictures about nature but sometimes we forget that it could be better to turn off the technological stuff and… take a walk on the wild side.
4) ROLLING IN THE FIELD: yesterday we were on Budakovo Brdo, a peak area which is covered by grassy and we rolled down in the field. The view was perfect and rolling is a beautiful sensation: sun, blue sky, field, sun, blue sky, field with a perfect soundtrack made by our happy laughter.
5) LEARNING FROM THE OTHERS: we were completely strangers at the beginning. But in few hours we established very strong relationships because we didn’t have any “distractions”, we were really curious to know as much as possible about us. We trust each other and I think that I will miss all of them. I love to think that nature could be a perfect “Cupid of friendship”.
6) SINGING: we are everyday with the headphones, using youtube and spotify. Here we have only a human radio. The last two mornings we did our personal Top Ten: each of us choose a song and we start singing all together. For me it’s the best radio station in the world.
7) BEING RESPONSIBLE: if we don’t cook, we will not eat. If we don’t build the bivouac, we could be wet if it starts raining. If we don’t walk, we will not reach the peaks. If we don’t want to carry food or to do things, we will accept the consequences. I like this assumption of responsibilities, especially because in our frenetic and modern lives we delegate a lot and we forget how it’s important to be the creator of our life, earning all that we have.
8) LOOK AT THE CEILING: all the nights before sleeping we spend some minutes (or more) looking at the sky, the stars and the moon. It could seem a banal thing but it’s our favorite television program.
And today on my screen there’s a beautiful full moon.