I Had a Dream

No really, I did. It was a backpacking dream of course or I wouldn’t be talking about it here most likely 🙂 Any time a person can dream about being the in the woods and climbing mountains it is a good thing I’d say. This one got me thinking which is even better.

This dream was really just two short scenes. The first was in camp getting ready to head out in the early morning light and looking up at the mountain overhead. The other was on top of the mountain looking down at the still mostly dark camp where I’d started. Not much narrative here in these bits of dream, but both had a well developed sense of feeling to them. Good feelings to be sure!

After waking up and thinking about it, two separate trains of thought came to mind. The obvious one is that I wanted to load up my pack and head out immediately. The other came more slowly as I noticed what wasn’t included in this dream; the climbing part. There was the anticipation of the climb before and the satisfaction of the climb in the end, but nothing of the climb itself.

As happens in my mind all too often this led me off on another couple of thoughts. First I laughed at how it made for a nice dream to skip the hard work and sweat that go into jumping out of the tent and hitting the first peak while the rest of the world is still eating breakfast. Only in dreams, or perhaps in campfire stories, can we leave out the hard parts and just focus on the idealized parts of an adventure. In reality just getting out of the tent before dawn can be an epic struggle, not to mention slipping into trail clothes that didn’t quite dry overnight without shrieking and waking up those sleeping around you.

Then I got to thinking about how my dream resembled how a lot of folks seem to see time on the trail. There are start and end points to be focused on, but the majority of the trip, the actual traveling part, gets glossed over in a haze of making miles. Their stories are often of how far they’ve come rather than what they’ve seen along the way.

Other folks you meet along the trail during the day do have time to chat. These are the people who will tell you of the ice cold spring they found off the trail on a hot day by following the faint sound of trickling water, warn you about the upcoming overgrown vista with no view or the secret camp site they’d enjoyed the night before hidden from the trail by thick bushes along the shore of a pond. Mostly I value the smiling faces rather than what was discussed because these are happy people sharing a moment on the trail with a random stranger.

Nothing wrong with being focused on goals, but there is a fair amount of joy and relaxation to be found in something more of a meander. Sort of like this post that started out with a dream about two moments and somehow ended up being about a whole lot of other moments. Just like a day on trail, it isn’t all about where you start and finish. What you find along the way between the two matters as much if not more.

Now I’m going snowshoeing before this snow melts again. Get out if you can, when you can and if you can’t then you’ll have to hope for good dreams.

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