Traveling Light

Today I came across a passage in Belden Lane's "Backpacking with the Saints" that spoke clearly to me.  


"Backpacking as a spiritual practice demands traveling light. This means leaving behind the ego's need for ostentatious achievement as well as unnecessary equipment. In traveling light you not only relinquish the comforts of home; you go without an agenda- without needing to chalk up another sensational "experience," add another spiritual writer to your list of books read, or check off "the most beautiful Southern hollow in America" on your list of trails hiked. It's about accepting whatever comes, and not having to celebrate your having "done it" when it's over.


People need wild places.  Whether or not we think we do, we do.  We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it.  We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers.  To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place.  It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd.        BARBARA KINGSOLVER, Small Wonder