Some place to get lost - Jack Creek near Lake Josephine

It isn’t every day you hike miles into the wild forests and need to find your way back to the truck. Well, it isn’t for most people. For us, it is every day! We have gone into some fairly dense canopies only to look around and realize that we had no idea which way we came from. This feeling, the feeling that you are really lost, is unnerving.

Some of us on the team have the most amazing gift though. We like to call it our inner compass or personal GPS. Over the years it has astounded some and has even amazed us. We have been in the middle of nowhere where the trees and bushes all look the same – and we can point to North or exactly which tree we just passed! I know it sounds unbelievable – but believe me it’s true.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to always know where you are facing. It’s like I can never be lost – except the few times that my inner GPS didn’t work or I got sidetracked and was looking too closely at flowers and not the path. Those times, I felt so helpless. I felt lost. I felt confused.

What I have come to realize is that my inner GPS is based on the sun. Much like a bee (see past post) I think I rely on the angle of the sun to determine which way is north. I also know that I make a mental map of odd things we pass. It’s unconsciously done and I never am fully aware that I am doing unless I am talking to myself out loud (which I often do). The times I got lost were in rainy weather or dusk conditions.

There something though, something that happened to me when I got lost. I almost wanted to sit down and start all over. I wanted to go through the trip in my head to see where I had gone wrong – surely this would produce the map – certainly I would know where I was. No. It didn’t work. I tried with everything I had to recreate the day, relive the trip, re-walk the walk – re-drive the drive – but, to no avail. I was truly lost and couldn’t tell you where to go.

I found it interesting. I began to analyze those people I know who get lost and unnerved often. It made me feel sympathetic and even appalled that I never really understood. I wanted to reach out and tell them that I was sorry for being unfeeling. I now know what it is like feeling lost.

Josh almost always wants to get lost wherever we go!

Please, don’t get these lost sessions confused with the times I truly want to get lost. There are times I want to keep walking into the swamp. I don’t ever want to turn around and re-walk the path – I want to see more, know more, risk more. There are places that I wish I could get lost in….I hope you know at least one place like that! If not, go find it. You will be drawn back a thousand times….or at least until you get lost.