Preparation + Certainty

“Stand still – the trees ahead and bushes beside you are not lost.Wherever you are is called “here”… the forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.” – David Wagonner

Dreams, like the natural world, often look romantic and beautiful and easy to traverse at a distance. But sooner or later, you must make a start. As an Eagle Scout, I am a long time believer in the both the citizenship and the woodcraft preparation one receives in such programs.

Whether you’re walking alone into the wilderness or stepping into a new career or a new project, real-world preparation gives you the luxury of spontaneity. If you lose your matches, you’ll still be able to make fire; if you lose your trail, your compass and the landmarks you see will help you find where you are on the map.

Certainty comes through this preparation as well as the faith in oneself that where you are is where you must be. Listening to the environment, noting the signs, learning from the trail, and attending to the voice inside your head that is only audible when you sit in relaxed silence, all provide constant beacons that will help you know where you are within yourself and within the natural world.

Crossing the threshold into the unknown quite often brings doubts, for here the poetry of the journey may seem to be falling away and leaving you wet and hungry and mired in realities that test you and frighten you and bring about despair.

These tests are proof you are going where you are supposed to go. Expect them, for they are the stepping stones to success, a path you will best be able to follow if you have faith in what you have learned in preparation and have faith in what that learning has made of you.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Malcolm R. Campbell

2 thoughts on “Preparation + Certainty

  1. So many people today have grown up without that kind of preparation and consequently don’t have the confidence to figure out even some of the basic things by themselves. Self reliance seems to be lacking. It’s a shame!

    1. Every once in a while, books or articles come out informing people of the very basic stuff they need to have stocked up in their houses for disaster preparedness. Not only do people not have much of what they need, they apparently haven’t thought much about what they would do if water, power and supplies were non existent for, say, a week or so.


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