In January while on the return leg of a deep winter road trip somewhere in Missouri I had this dream. It was the kind of dream that attaches itself to the waking consciousness. The kind of dream that motivates and bewilders. Now one month after the dream I can't shake it, I don't want to. I am making plans.
I've been walking in the wilderness for days now. I'm at home. I have my home on my back. All of my belongings. The weight isn't uncomfortable, in fact it is the opposite. I have everything: a warm jacket, a soft sleeping pad, new soles on broken-in boots, and a surplus of food. For days I've been walking alone but still I've remained connected to society. I camp besides a river. The river is too deep to wade across, it is too wide and too swift to swim across with my gear. On the other side of the river there is something calling me. It is not a voice, and from where I sat there was not much of a promise of anything different on the other side. I examine my map, no bridges.
In the dream I know two things, one of which is the simple fact that I have this innate need to relocate myself onto the other bank. Slowly, I begin breaking down my camp. Organizing, but not packing, my rucksack. I neatly fold my tent and place it squarely in front of me. I stuff my sleeping bag into its sack. I roll the sleeping pad and securely attach the velcro strap around it. I assemble my camping stove, pot, and utensils together. I take the two weeks worth of food and tuck into another stuff sack. I take one granola bar and open the package and begin to eat. I take out my clothes arrange them, base layers to outer layers, neatly below the tent. Finally, I take off the clothes and socks I am wearing and fold them placing each garment into the appropriate pile. With all my belongs secure and accounted for I venture away from them towards the river.
The water is cold but not uncomfortable, it must be august. Walking slowly into the current I begin to swim. I feel no hesitation, I know my belongings are safe, I will not need them where I am going.
Even though it is unfamiliar I am on my way home.