My first hike without you was peaceful.

My steps felt light, my worries stay settled. My mind drifted quietly as I let it get lost in the blankets of snow surrounding me.

I am free, I thought to myself. This was the long-lost comfort that I had lost touch with, that I had let someone else command for me.

With every gentle rattle and crisp sound from the shutter on my camera, I felt my loneliness become something other than torment. I felt it grace my soul, as if the two were meeting again, as long lost friends.

People try so hard to get lost in the great outdoors. I think they are missing out by looking for escape. I feel found. I feel grounded and understood.

Every tree wears the scars of time on them, just as you wear the same scars. The mountains grow taller and stronger, just as you grow, letting the loose rocks fall away with erosion.

We are not meant to remain the same.