Land

Mark and I had a date this afternoon after church. We went out to dinner at a sushi place, although neither of us is fond of sushi. We found things on their menu that we could eat. Dinner wasn’t the part of the date either of us was particularly looking forward to. It was the movie after dinner.

We went to see a movie called Land. I will not give anything away that you couldn’t see in the trailer for the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOw20FDNnHA.

It’s about a woman named Edie who suffered such a tragedy in her life that she couldn’t stand to be around people anymore, not even those who loved her. She left New York and moved into a remote cabin in the Rockies. She got rid of every tie to the outside world. Unfortunately, she wasn’t prepared for being self-sufficient in the wild and she began to suffer from malnutrition and hypothermia. In comes Miguel. He brings her back to health and then he teaches her how to survive in the wild. I cried.

This movie touched an old dream I had. When I was in grade school, a teacher read a book to the class called My Side of the Mountain. It was written by Jean Craighead George and won a Newberry Honor Award. I loved the book so much that I read it to my little sister when she was young, and when I had my son, I read it to him as well. The book told of a boy named Sam who lived out in the wilderness and learned how to survive with the help of a falcon he’d had since it was still just a hatchling. There were so many tips in the book as to how to live in the wild that I thought it must be easy.

When I was a teenager, there was a show on TV called The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams about a man who lived up in the mountains with a bear named Ben that he’d raised from a cub. He was occasionally visited by Mad Jack. I loved watching it because of the beautiful scenery and the romanticized version of what it would be like to live alone in the mountains.

There were times in my life when I wanted to run away and live in the wilds away from everyone. I suspect I would have been as unprepared as Edie was; maybe even more so since she at least tried to prepare in advance whereas I pictured myself just leaving everything behind with the possible exception of a copy of My Side of the Mountain. I always thought the mountains around Lake Sammish in Whatcom County, Washington looked like a good place to live. I loved that area every time my family would go up to Lynden, Washington to visit our relatives.

Was there ever a time in your life when you wanted to be alone someplace quiet and peaceful? Just get away from it all? Seeing the movie Land this afternoon helped me understand that there is no place truly quiet until you are quiet in your own mind.

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