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October 8th, 2015


Cherly Strayed lost her mother when she was twenty two, and a part of her has also gone. They endured a violent father together at one time, and they went to the same university. Cherly was inquisitive about everything of her mother, and she knew all of the mother’s life before she died. For her, the mother was more than a mother. She lost the center of her life.

So, I understood that she was eager to compensate the lack, and drugs and sex were the means she needed at that time though she knew these things actually solve nothing. Taking the hike of the Pacific Crest Trail was her real step to heal herself and face the fact.

     The biggest question I had after reading the book was that even though it was a tough trail, did just three months hike really heal her wound? She lost the “center” of her life. Cheryl answered this question at Emily Balch Speaker Series last night. First two years she was just sad. She was in the center of sadness. She said “this kind of sadness lasts forever” but she also said that she became to be able to “live with the sadness”. It was not only the result of the hike itself. The writing process was also part of healing herself. She remembered the details while writing the book, and also she talked about it many times after publishing the book. The process is lasting from the past to still now.

     The title of the book is “WILD from lost to found on the pacific trail”. I was wandering what she found at the end. As we discussed in the group, she actually enjoyed the interaction with people during the hike. Though she spent most of the time alone, she wrote the details about the people she met. What she really needed was the communication with people? So, probably it did not have to be in the wild. That was actually we debated in the group. Cherly answered this question last night. According to her, the key was getting out of her comfort zone. She forced herself to be alone in the wild. Since most of the time she spent alone, she was just excited to find another people on the tail. Also, when she came back to the normal life, the way she looked at the world had changed. She could appreciate a lot of things she took for granted before.

     I was also impressed by her action after the trail. She had nothing after the hike. She had no money, no job, and no place to live. But she wanted to be a writer. So she took a class left in her university, and started learning writing. During that process, she also worked, married, and had two children. This is exactly “from lost to found” I thought. The hike itself was full of the discoveries, but the last day of the trail was the starting point of her new life. Her journey started with lost, and the lost is still lost. However, it created her life. She wrote her story and it impressed people all over the world. The story became the film, and she became famous. This whole process is the most beautiful story.