Yellow Jacket

October 6, 2013
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Beads of sweat form on my brow as I lace my boots from bottom to top. The euphonious chirp of nearby birds clouds my mind; simultaneously blinded by the morning rays of the sun. A smile transfixed on my face for the upcoming anticipation of this special day. It was my first day of complete isolation from the outside world in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. For once I could stop thinking and truly enjoy myself. I am at home.

The ice cold water rushes down the stream emotionlessly; ultimately finding itself in the grasp of my two buckets. This is just the first step of preparing water to use for my military type shower that night. At this moment, I experienced an epiphany. People are so distracted in day to day activities that we do not think twice of the resources available at our fingertips. This false perception of reality was finally awoken and I couldn’t help but dwell over everything we just take for granted. This distraction in our life is driven by smartphones which were not a problem in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

The campfire constantly flickers with its eternal, everlasting flame; illuminating our faces as we talk about our day. I experienced a true, meaningful conversation between my family and complete strangers six thousand feet up in the mountains. No distractions, just endless, flowing conversation. There were no cellphones to distract yourself with and you actually were talking to another human, not just a brick wall with constant yep after yep. I find that people are losing a natural component of being defined as a human; interacting with one another in everyday activities. These conversations help shape and build complex relationships which are significant in that it is essential for forming my own identity.

Amidst one of these conversations, I realized the breeze dancing around the outline of my body. My breath escaped my lungs as I grasped the view in front of me. Atop the spine of Tiara Mountain, I could look in any direction and it seemed like the Bob Marshall Wilderness did not end. My eyes glazed over the snow-capped peaks and rivers roaring down into the valleys. I quickly noted that I should appreciate these few untouched, vast tracks of land left on Earth because they will not be here for long. These wilderness preserves are the few, precious treasures of Earth and I am lucky enough to always picture myself on that spot; reminiscing for a lifetime.

One memory that I do not enjoy recalling from that trip to Montana is the bee sting. Usually, I handle bee stings with a taste of hysteria, but this time things were different. The sharp pain and constant throbbing from this sting roused me from this endless fantasy and redefined reality. It was time to come back to real life, but I was lucky enough to reevaluate my morals and perceive life from a new angle. These new acuities helped mold my individuality and prepare me for future challenges where I dare to defy my boundaries. Now I truly know how it feels to be stung by a yellow jacket.

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