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Wissahickon, lost in the rain, content.

Simona's picture

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Wissahickon State park on Friday. One particular aspect of it that fascinated me was how we dealt with unexpected situations (sometimes they would be considered problems, but I don’t think many of us viewed them as such)—getting lost, and rain. As an outdoorsy person, I love the rain and don’t often shy away from being out in it. Even as I sit here in my bedroom typing, my two windows are open and the sound of the heavy raindrops and bird songs, mixed with the fast-moving flooded creek below is calming. Being in the light rain at Wissahickon made me feel more connected to the park, like part of the ecosystem that is involved by choice, but also involved by simply being, because at the end of the day humans are part of these modern ecosystems too. I was out in the rain, just like all the other animals present in the space. Also on a more practical note, I loved how I didn’t hear anyone in our group complain about the rain, I instead noticed how we all approached it as an adventure.

While getting lost, I noticed how, in fact, it didn’t matter much in this situation at all. Jody showed me the map at one point and asked if I thought we were going the right way, and I admitted I didn’t think we were but we could just see what happens. The flexibility we had in getting lost versus finding our way struck me—I’ve been in many a situation where getting lost would have been devastating. Off trail in the backcountry of a huge national park trying to cover 20 miles in a day hike, if we had gotten lost we would have faced serious consequences. While walking along the trails in Wissahickon, I looked off in the distance and could see and hear the cars on the nearby road, and knew that even if we were “lost,” we weren’t actually lost. We knew exactly how to get back. I think this allowed for more of an explorative experience on my end, since the focus wasn’t on survival but more on carefree wandering. My mind was free to notice the intricacies of the environment, instead of focusing on the puzzle that is navigating the backcountry (both experiences have their pros and cons). Overall, this wandering in the rain was lovely and meaningful. The paperlike dried leaves, the oxbow, the schist, the light rain, it was all lovely.