Jack Reed


When I was 10 years old my dad took me backpacking. We got up at the crack of dawn and I
remember the crisp morning air and the sharp scent of pine and soil and rain. I remember the
comfortable weight of the backpack and the feel of the stick in my hand. I remember the long
steady steps of my dad and I remember we were comfortable with the silence because it wasn’t
empty. The rushing of the river, gentle but strong, and the creaking of the ancient trees and the
peaceful, soft blending of the voices into a single hush. I remember the exhaustion and exertion
beating a familiar rhythm in my head, that feeling of vitality. And I remember singing echoes off
the canyon walls that rose like venerable pillars into the sky. I remember the feeling of wild,
peaceful longing calling me to something nearly lost.
The commodities of modern ingenuity are nice, but there is nothing more natural than to
remember the wild. To walk and breathe and feel. That’s living.