Where it comes from

Wanderlust. The itch. Drive to move, shake, dance into the wilderness. It has to come from somewhere.

Sometimes, the rampart-filled places in the world take us captive even though they’re new. A friend once told me that when he left Nebraska for Colorado and first saw the mountains, he was so overwhelmed and excited that he drank the water out of a roadside ditch, assuming it to be as clean and clear as the scenery.

Sometimes the years don’t sit on people. This father’s day, I went bicycling in Glacier with my sister and dad. After a long climb, and some walking, we stopped at Bird Woman Overlook. When it was time to go, I stopped to fiddle with a shoelace and by the time I looked up, my dad was gone down the hill. Seven something miles downhill later, he was still 300 yards ahead, winding in and out of the curves below The Loop. I didn’t catch him before the flats.

But for me, this holiday season, I think the wild is a bug I got from the family. Climbing mountains, skiing, telling stories; it’s all there. These passions, this direction in life–the map of it all is laid out in my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Their kids are headed the same way. Hell, my grandparents light our Christmas pudding on fire. “Flame pie” as my sister once called it.

This holiday, I’m thankful for the people that got me out there when the sand got in my diaper. When I ate dirt. Or played in the creek. Or got dehydrated and complained. They’re my reason. And I’m walking as far as I can in their shoes.

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