Dan Weil, CPCC

Curiosity Out There

Somewhere out on the horizon, down a rediscovered backcountry trail, the sun is rising over a campsite. A rooftop tent splays out from the top of an off-grid trailer pulled behind a well-equipped overland vehicle. Out here it’s quiet with occasional noises created by what is meant to be here. Leaves and twigs that rustle, creak and crack in the wind above and sometimes may crunch under the cautious feet of passing wildlife on the floor below.

Steam quickly dissipates into the cool morning air from a hand-cradled coffee mug. Perched on a camping chair nearby the trailer’s kitchen, an intrepid explorer sits quietly looking outward from this camp. A stop on the way. A stop on the path.

Observing the gently changing morning light, listening to the world around him, he sips coffee and an inquiry bubbles up. Out here in this open space, he realizes more people are beginning to wander out to places like this. They go to national parks, they go camping or exploring, or weekend hikes. They invest money into going out there, away from what’s here. And they are looking. They are searching.

In a moment when there’s just coffee to sip and just be in a place, this powerful question emerges. What are we all looking for out here? And then, what’s here now? And then, what brought me out here?

What would your answer be? What would you go out there for?

Is it part of our genetic survival imperative to search out a connection with nature? Are we so far out of practice – so far away from connection with nature – that we can’t do much other than recognize it? How do we authentically re-connect with it – with what’s already within us?

What’s calling you out? How do we get present with nature – how do you connect and authentically be with it? What do you want to be present with?

There is a yearning in our disconnected culture right now, a searching for something to connect with. In our tech-filled, tech-fueled world, our siloed disconnected and fenced off spaces, our instant-gratification-fueled world, a world we seek to escape sometimes… I wonder about the powerful questions that engaged curiosity brings.

What are you stepping into when you choose to step out from being “in” this highly disconnected world and step out into a different space?

What is it that you want to connect with?

And is the question itself, the answer?

The sun risen. A stretch. An empty coffee mug. Authentic curiosity. A forthcoming, full day of possibilities and lungs full of fresh air. An expansive view.