“Who am I?” Throughout our lives, we ask ourselves this question, and the answers change. Student, friend, professional, citizen. The older we become, the more roles we assume, and the deeper the impact we make on the world around us. Significant other, parent, neighbor, community member.

But these are all secondary or tertiary identities – how we value our efforts, how others see us. We still feel that the core of our question is unresolved.

In the day-to-day, our lives are governed by our logical, rational selves. We then come home and provide for our emotional selves. Yet the question still remains.

I go to natural spaces, far past roads’ end. The roles I play and my position relative to my peers and loved ones fades away. Thoughts slow down, senses become more vibrant, my breathing body becomes more awake to the world around me. I become aware of the changes in light all around me, how the clouds, or fog, or sun interact with the ground, water, and air around me. The rhythms and exchange among this life around me becomes me.

Spirit becomes awakened when the heart runs wild. This is who I am: I am my spirit, alive with the world around me. When my body is tired and my mind radiant from the natural world where I find myself, all I can do is create: create new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing, new possibilities to lead my life, and new depth to perceive the beauty of our life and our world.

I go to the natural world, and I become alive.

Archie Frink