Always, in the big woods, when you leave familiar ground
and step off alone into a new place there will be,
along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement
a little nagging of dread.
It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and
it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.
What you are doing is exploring.
You are undertaking the first experience, not of the place,
but of yourself in that place.
It is an experience of our essential loneliness;
for nobody can discover the world for anybody else.
It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that
it becomes a common ground and a common bond, and
we cease to be alone.
The One-Inch Journey
Many thanks to Front Porch Journal, which has nominated my story “Bubble” for this year’s Pushcart Prize.
You can check out the story, which appeared in Issue 27 of Front Porch Journal, here.