A good friend asked me if I wanted to read Wild a book about a young woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) solo back in 1995. Wow, my friend had no idea how much I needed to read this book. It was incredibly timely and spoke to me on so many levels. It was hard to put down and difficult at times not to tear up along the way.
In Wild, Cheryl Strayed covers a smattering of everything from the untimely death of her mother and break up of her family when she's only 22 to an absent father, infidelity, drugs, and divorce. She doesn't keep any thought hidden and gives the reader an opportunity to connect with and embrace the humanness of her raw pain.
When Cheryl Strayed hits the PCT she's seemingly damaged from the inside out. However, through her journey, mostly alone but sometimes in the company of strangers, Cheryl Strayed grows a sense of her own power, grieves the loss of family, learns to trust in the kindness of others, and challenges herself to accept life just as it is.
If you've ever enjoyed the book or seen the movie Into the Wild, then you'll want to check out Cheryl Strayed's story to see what happens when a woman goes into the wilderness to claim herself.
Here is one of my favorite passages from Wild:
It took me years to take my place among the ten thousand things again. To be the woman my mother raised. To remember how she said honey and picture her particular gaze. I would suffer. I would suffer. I would want things to be different than they were. The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods. It took me four years, seven months, and three days to do it. I didn't know where I was going until I got there.
It was a place called the Bridge of the Gods.