Hardship versus Luxury

800 You choose:  the life of Luxury or Life in the Wilderness

The life of luxury is enticing.  It is like a new lover that captivates your entire being like an elixir or some drug.  And like with the drug or elixir, one becomes lazy, soft and weak with little motivation- yes the life of Luxury is enticing and exciting, but I think I will choose the wilderness where there is struggle and hardship. 

I seek the wilderness to feel Gods presence. In the wilderness you are alone and it owns you.  At its will, it can destroy you, swallow you and then spit you out- you are there simply at its pleasure. In the wilderness, I love the sun to burn my skin and drain the blood from my veins leaving me parched with thirst. At night I love to feel the bitter wind cut my face like a sharpened knife and to listen to the wind howl across the desert floor like a lion while pummeling the shelters I am in, like some demon from the underground. The pain of exertion in the wilderness diminishes the hunger from having little or no food.  I hope I am too exhausted to eat and need not worry about where the next meal will come from. There are no bathrooms, showers or fine cuisine. Life is hard and the only meal one gets may not be for a few days.

In Bolivia, my potato dinner was heated in the dung-fired stove and the room was warmed by the simple fireplace, fueled by the dung the owners collected from the Llamas outside. The toilet was a hole in the ground.  The wind howled and screamed outside. It rattled the adobe room we were in and it was bitter cold that clawed our faces raw. The Wilderness, in its “ANGER” is not a place to go; neither for a social dinner or literary event, nor for a drawing or embroidery display and it cannot be enjoyed in elegance or courtesy.

The Wilderness at its extreme is a place where there is VIOLENCE  – I must say, life was good there in Bolivia yet hard!!

I have seen those from the wilderness where things are difficult and they are made of something few can understand. I have seen a Baluchi tribesman from the wilderness on the Pakistani -Iranian border being beaten without mercy with a hardened cane for something he smuggled and he never moaned, I have seen a Nepal women from the wilderness carry 15 kilos of stone in a basket on her back all day and she only smiled and I have seen a women give birth in a dirt hovel in the wilderness only to go to work in a couple if days. My porter in Africa for the climb of Kilimanjaro carried my pack all day to base camp then served me lunch and set my tent. He smiled as he offered me tea- I was embarrassed for I was unworthy to be served by such a great man as my porter.

Those from the wilderness are tough and I would be honored to be on their team. To be stretched to the limit, to go outside ones comfort zone, is what makes them different – my dream would be to emulate them!!

We should seek out what is difficult even if the result is painful.  Yea I say unto to you, let us grab our swords and take to the sky like a bird in flight on powerful steeds that breathe fire and brimstone and bring the violence of the sun upon our enemies on the hard land of winter where the shadows run from themselves!! Let us seek out our enemies and slay all that oppose us until the rivers run crimson with our enemy’s blood and Yea as my word is my bond among honorable men, I promise you no man will be left behind.

Only after the struggle of battle, can we, with heads held high, walk upon a new country, a hallowed place, one with white sandy beaches, a dark green country and a quick sunrise to live where no mortals dare and then we will live in eternity’s sunrise