Even as a young kid I loved being out in the natural world, preferably alone. I’d go out into the desert around Phoenix, ride my bike way beyond any boundaries my mother had set up, and just sit out there, doing nothing but being. Being alone meant that I didn’t have to be “human”, that I could just be myself. I’d frequently experience a glow, a brightness emanating from everything—a gold-white light that I always thought of as the “light of the world”—not sun light, and not auras, but the light that makes everything what it is. And sometimes I’d see a sort of blue web connecting everything—in some places it would be fairly solid, while in other place it would sort of jump from plant to plant, tree to tree, rock to rock. As I grew up I parlayed my love of being alone in the natural world into solo backpacking trips in the summer, and solo back-country ski trips in the winter.
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