The path is arduous. The summit waits. Or, perhaps, a placid lake. But hasten not, nor hurry, nor anxious be to tell the journey by its end. For hither and yon along the way, in sight of all who seek, lie marvels great and small. Nature is not a monolith. Her myriads wait, some in bold relief, others almost beyond ken, oft where least expected: the tiny world within a dewdrop’s orb; the forest’s lofty, canopied mosaic; the fleeting blush of dawn or evening’s verdant gloom; the sweet and tinglingly pungent scents; the pleasant thrum of life all around – or the breathless absence of any sound at all.
Moreover, Nature is both rhythmic and capricious. She alters her countenance with the passing of each season and hour. Her moods, whether glowing or glowering, may shift in moments or persist for days. And, although her grand architecture may endure little changed for eons, yet, from one mountain fold to the next, her more elusive legions may spring up, or linger, or vanish on a seeming whim.
Our wilderness sojourns will always vary with the vicissitudes of Nature. We can only venture forth in anticipation of the wonders that choose to manifest themselves. They exist — unbidden, unbeholden — in a world of their own, yet just beyond our doorstep, revealed to those who enter with respect, humility, and awe.