Sunday, September 25, 2016
I saw the movie Wild when it came out a couple of years ago, and finally got around to reading this memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest by Cheryl Strayed. I thought Wild was a great book.
Yes, Cheryl is reckless and sets out to walk from southern California to Oregon without adequate preparation. But, I think that is the point. As Monty Python taught us, No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition.
When tragedy derails you and you are free falling and you see a way out of the fall, you take it, whether you are prepared for what that way might entail or require of you.
I admire Cheryl for recognizing that she was out of control and for taking on a task that enabled her to relearn self-control. Her courage, grit, humor, and willingness to examine her life make her admirable despite her faults and weaknesses, not least of which was vanity.
I do believe that nature and wilderness can heal the mind and spirit--they can also be unforgivingly harsh. I think Wild honestly acknowledges both facts.
I love hiking/walking adventure treks. I wish that I was a backpacker and could do some of what Cheryl did, but I must be content with B&Bs along more traveled routes!
Excellent book--excellent movie.