I have recently finished reading Go Set A Watchman the highly anticipated yet highly controversial novel released by Harper Lee shortly before her death. It is controversial in regards to the question of if it should be considered a sequel to the much loved To Kill A Mockingbird or simply seen as an incomplete first draft and for the question if Lee actually wanted to release it. Regardless of controversies, I took a lot from the book. One particular quote that really stuck with me was spoken by a main character Uncle Jack to an older Jean Louise (Scout). “Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.”
If I haven’t mentioned before I am a super nerd and every time I finish a book I usually ponder it for quite a while afterwards. Although this one was not related to the wilderness or adventuring, I had that quote from Uncle Jack stuck in my head all day during a recent hike in the Jemez Mountains. Those words floated around in my brain as I breathed in the warm pine smell from the surrounding trees and listened to the red clay earth crunch beneath my boots.
Darwin and I hiked quietly allowing the wilderness and its beauty to do its work on us. We occasionally chatted about upcoming media but mostly we seemed to be reflecting more on “yesterday and ten years ago,” hikes and adventures. As we allowed our minds to continue to wonder soothed by the natural slow pace of the world around us, it seemed easy to reflect on the past just as Uncle Jack states. I tried to think more on who I was presently which I found hard to do. I tried to focus back on who I was and where I was at in life the last time I hiked here just last fall and who I felt I was now. I felt changed and more experienced in life but couldn’t really pin point how or why. The trees and trail were the same as before but the hiker was changed somehow.
During the hussel and bussel of our day to day life it’s easy to loose ourselves and go with the flow of whatever current we are stuck in. We never really seem to take the time to question things for ourselves until we find we are stuck in a rut, not really knowing how we got there or how to get out. Uncle Jack’s words ring true, if we don’t stop and consider who we are we may never find out. We are a people living in a world that is changing daily. It’s hard to check in with ourselves when surrounded by constant change when we are simply trying to keep up. In the woods there are changes however they are very slight and slow. Changes only noticed after several weeks even months of time passed. Being in this environment makes it easy to focus on “me” and reevaluate my present self; what I am. I agree with Uncle Jack that although this is hard to do, when done it allows me to “get along” and not become lost in the shuffle. I am grounded and know what and who I am.
You can find Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee at your local library or you can find it on Amazon here. If you have not read To Kill A Mockingbird don’t worry, you can still read this novel as an entity of its own. You however can find To Kill A Mockingbird here on Amazon. I recommend both and would love to hear your thoughts on them!
(Me Pondering At One Of The Jemez Natural Hot Springs)
Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts/Website Posts:
- Updates on My TP Challenge – Slow Progress – Not quite down to goal of three squares for a poop and one for a pee however I have been making a huge effort to use a smaller amount. We already go longer with a 12-pack of TP instead of lasting maybe a week. Embarrassing, I know.
- Girl Overnight Backpacking Trip – Date Currently Being Finalized
- Book Review: “The Long Shadowed Forest” by Helen Hoover – In Progress