Most of us at one time or another in our lives have been lost. I don’t mean lost in a city with a map in the daylight. I mean lost in the mountains, the forest, the desert, or an unfamiliar city at night! Or perhaps as a child, when walking in a crowd, you let go of your mother’s hand and found yourself being swept away in a sea of strange people. Last month I was hiking in the mountains for many hours. Suddenly the bliss I was experiencing turned into panic and confusion when I discovered I was truly lost. There was no longer a friendly communion with nature. Instead the environment became austere and hostile. I also felt a deep sense of guilt as the beautiful Brittany Spaniel that accompanied me was also dehydrated and losing its stamina.
I took the wrong path when coming back down the mountain and ended up at a dead end at the bottom of the waterfall’s gushing stream. Frantically running up the long path again, I was propelled by fear of the dark night advancing and no reception on my mobile. The disorientation created an eerie sense that all the paths seemed to look alike. I was confronted with the pain of stinging nettles, blisters on my feet, and a few scratches and cuts from sliding on rock debris.