There is, indeed, a time for everything. At the beginning of this month, I was still adjusting to home life, after three weeks spent abroad (my first time traveling since the pandemic started), but then I started going outdoors again, going back to my mountains and my forests, with a backpack on. I felt like I needed that kind of (re)connection more than anything else. Not spending any other minute on my laptop than what was necessary for work. That’s it.
The longer I was keeping myself away from this blank page, the more life I felt like it was available for me to experience. I knew I was getting super-late with the August soundlust (and the other million of ideas I want to further pursue) and the days would simply melt through my fingers.
This was more the reason for me to listen to my intuition, to nature calling me, to be patient with myself and with the process, to reprioritize my serenity over an unnecessary pressure I would sometimes put upon my shoulders when missing a self-imposed deadline.
I remember I had written this piece in my mind while walking through the wild woods of Călimani mountains two weeks ago. Every word, in a lovely cursive speech – probably worth two full pages. None of those words ever hit the paper on my return home. Lost, boom, bye.
So here I am, starting again.
Backpacking through (our) wild nature
People go backpacking for a wide range of reasons. Some are led by a hungry curiosity of the wild nature, exploring the mountains and the deep woods, adventuring through the unknown and the untamed side of the world. Others pursue a more self-searching journey, focusing on decluttering whatever burdens their minds and spirits, learning to heal through nature, regardless of the surroundings or the itinerary itself.
There are also those who simply want to escape their current reality, eager to exchange it with a whole different landscape for a little while, emptying their minds of everything they left back home. Needless to say, these folks are to be disappointed on their return home for their unresolved shit is still gonna be there. Unbothered.
Thing is, when we avoid certain parts of us, maybe our wilder sides or the feelings, thoughts, people or situations that challenge us, just because we don’t look at them, they’re still traveling with us.
Of course, we’re all probably a bit of every kind of backpacker above, more or less.
We’re a continuum of stories, still in the writing, still in the living.
It’s curious how we carry a so-called backpack even when our backs are resting. It’s the legacy we inherit and eventually leave to the next generation, it’s the stories we collected and everything that makes our lives our own.
All these things that we carry with us – our burdens, our fears, our dreams, our loves, our hopes, our memories, the faces of the people that we love or that we used to love, the stories that we created, the stories that were never told, the stories that are still in the writing – are embedded in the threads of our existence, in the shape and fragrance of our spirit.
At first, when you start moving and become aware of the weight you’re carrying, it feels heavy, but as you keep walking onward, the load gets lighter and the marks on your shoulders go from being pains and stones to badges of resilience and wisdom. Some might say that you simply become one with the backpack.
We carry a lot. We carry all our life stories with us, because we’re made of stories. We’re a continuum of stories, still in the writing, still in the living. And that backpack is there to guard them all through the path we choose to walk on. There come times when it gets heavy and we need to unload, to release the things that no longer serve us or that have completed their purpose. We let them go, sometimes as sacred offerings to the Journey, to be kept safe in the depths of the wilderness, as we continue to move forward.
A soundlust for the explorers
For this August edition of LAUREL Monthly Soundlust, “Backpack” seemed like an appropriate theme to choose, for all the travels and journeys I’d experienced lately and for all those who are still in front of me. In addition to that, there were things that surfaced from my wilder side, that I’ve been carrying along for such a long time, that it felt like we’re all backpacking through life, one way or another.
The songs included in Backpack have that folkish vibe many nature explorers feel inspired by, with sounds ranging from mellow to uplifting, with lyrics taking us through different life stages, with stories about love, pursuing dreams, wandering souls, inner journeys and more.
I do hope you find inspiration listening to these songs and hopefully you’ll get to fill your backpack with good memories from all the adventures you’re living and about to live.