I spent the first half of my life believing Gaia was trying to kill me. I’ve been lost in the wild 3 times now, all of them resulting in health crises in some way. It is strange because I love nature, I love forests, I even understand that trees and plants are living organic spirits in perfect balance with Mother Earth.

I was once hiking in the mountains heading towards a creek at the bottom of a luscious gauge. The pathway was packed with rocks and tree roots, birds were chirping in a constant background serenade of the forest, the air was cool and fresh. As we hiked along, we suddenly came across a completely white tree. This thing was humongous. Towering above the rest of the forest, stark white trunk with white barren branches stretching out. It was awe inspiring in a grand posture stretching towards the heavens above. There was a full circular clearing around it; a full parting in the forest of massive green trees. A little while later after continuing on, I stepped on a jagged, rolling rock on the pathway and fractured my ankle. Pain shot up my leg to such a heavy degree I could barely walk. I was near the bottom of the gauge. I limped my way to the icy cool water, and let my ankle painfully soak. My ankle went blue, it swelled up twice the size. The sun was setting, I had to get out of there. I spent the next 4 hours limping up the mountain with a wooden staff. Mind over matter, I walked on a fractured ankle summoning every ounce of energy I could to continue. As the sun went down, I could see black figures walking through the trees around me. Every time I looked at them, they would disappear. Forest spirits were surrounding me. As I made my way out, I could see them lining the forest wall staring at me.

Till this day, this entire experience remains a mystery…

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