Wild Women Don’t Do Paths

March 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Nature Space

The Light at the End of the Tunnel by Amy PalkoFrom a very young age we are encouraged to keep to the path.  After all, just look what happened to Little Red Riding Hood when she wandered off in search of wildflowers! Or the sad case of Hansel & Gretel, left alone in the forest with no path to follow, and their makeshift breadcrumb path devoured by hungry birds.

No, the best place for us is the clearly defined, well-trodden path; it’s safe, known, charted, familiar, dependable….

And yet…

The urge to leave the path behind and roam cross-country is, for me, often utterly irrepressible.  I want to feel the squelch-squerch of bogs underfoot.  I want to move through waist-high swishy grasses.  I want to climb over bolders deposited by glaciers long since melted, rather than take the long way round.

The path may be the easiest way to get from A to Z but it’s no way to imbue your life with the spirit of adventure!  After all, who knows what you might find on your detour.  Some of my most memorable discoveries have been made while taking detours.  A tiny little mossy green frog.  A miniature wild pink primrose no bigger than 0.5cm across.  An abandoned village reclaimed by the forest.  A view that would break your heart open with the sheer beauty of the loch, mountain, sky combination.

The wild spaces help us to recall the wild woman who resides within us all.  She is not inspired, aroused, enlivened by the tame & timid path-followers.  She longs to strike out and away from the safe, the familiar.  She is Little Red Riding Hood gone native – who wandered away from the path and decided she rather liked the freedom she found in the wild secret places of the forest.

She is all of us when we decided that the time has come to be brave, be bold, be adventurous, be ourselves.


11 Responses to “Wild Women Don’t Do Paths”
  1. Dee says:

    Wow! That is one beautiful reminder of the our spirit within Amy, thank you!

  2. Joanna Young says:

    Oh Amy you know some of my most favourite walking is off the beaten track, just following a sheep track or meandering over the moor to the sea. In fact I included a section of those kind of walks in my Skye book, with suitable warnings… because they’re not for everyone ;-)

    But back to the post… I loved it, esp the play back to the fairy stories, and the voice of you, the Amy who is and will teach women to be more them selves, coming through.

  3. Nazlie says:

    It took me just a second to realise that i simply MUST connect to my wild … very wild, female friends and email them all the link to your beautiful post.

    Let’s not walk the beaten path. Let’s go native! :)

  4. DianneMR says:

    Fantastic post, Amy, thank you! You have reminded me of a book I started many years ago and never finished, ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I went and dug it out and am going to read it again. I think you would really enjoy it, Amy, if you can’t get a copy, let me know and I’ll send you mine. It’s about myths and stories of the Wild Woman archetype:

    “No matter by which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the words ‘wild’ and ‘woman’ intuitively. When women hear those words, an old, old memory is stirred and brought back to life. The memory is of our absolute, undeniable and irrevocable kinship with the wild feminine. […] We may have forgotten her names, we may not answer when she calls ours, but in our bones we know her, we yearn toward her; we know she belongs to us and we to her.”

    I agree with Dee and Joanna, you are doing such a wonderful job of reminding us all, Amy, thank you! x

    Joanna, your adventures off the beaten track sound like my kind of walks! :O)

  5. janice says:

    What a beautiful piece to inspire the raindancer and reawaken the bold wee girl in all of us! I’m ashamed to be passing on so much anxiety to my kids as they grow up in a world that’s more dangerous than the one I grew up – and thrived -in.

  6. Ahh… ‘Little Red Riding Hood gone native’… I love this Amy! The idea of getting off the beaten path, of finding new trails, new vistas, new adventures is so appealing to the inner wild child.

    Thank you for inspiring the adventurer in me… you always know just how to touch the right spot.

  7. Anne Maybus says:

    I love the title! You are so right. How much of life do we miss out on by taking the ‘correct’ way along?

  8. What an inspiring post, a lovely, fun, reminder! I really needed this message right now! It always astonishes me when things fall into place when I need them most. So, I’m grateful that you wrote this post in time for me to receive it today. Thank you Amy.


  9. Bo Mackison says:

    Love the wild, very inspiring.I’ve been holed up in my winter house way too long, anxious to go out and discover – all that is new, explore, contemplate. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Amy Not sure how I missed reading this last week!
    You’re calling to some part of me that is underneath the girl who likes predictability and knowing where she’s going and what she’s doing!
    It’s a disconcerting feeling to know that other me is inside there and wanting to get out!
    Be interesting to see where she bobs up won’t it?