Adventuring Alone, Together
Yesterday, our OA students ventured into the woods for solo, one of the culminating experiences of the semester. After an early-morning opening ceremony, they walked quietly through our forest, stopping one by one to set up individual tarps, watching as the rest of the group continued on. As the sound of feet moving through fallen leaves whispered away, they were left alone, out of sight of any other human.
24 hours, alone. Curled into sleeping bags, thinking, writing letters to themselves, and finally, falling asleep to no sound but the winter wind through the trees and the distant call of owls.
So often, we feel that we go through our day alone. Sometimes that’s a good thing, like on solo—we have time to breathe, time to make decisions, time to understand ourselves. But other times we simply feel alone, caught up in our own thoughts and worries even when we’re surrounded by other people. We want someone to share our journey, even if it’s not exactly the same journey.
That’s what Hante is about. This blog has lots of posts about how different desires bring people to Hante, and they face different challenges once they’re here. That often includes solo, and other opportunities to come face-to-face with yourself. But there are two Hante journeys: the one only you make, and the one you make with your group and leaders. They happen at the same time. They both involve struggles and incredible victories. But the outer journey—the community journey—means you don’t have to face your inner journey alone. And on those days when you challenge yourself the most, when you might feel caught up within yourself as you push up a mountain trail, it’s reassuring to find out around the campfire that your comrades were facing that challenge too.
The OA community returned from solo this morning, gathering together to welcome each other back (and ask did y’all hear that noise too? What was that?). In a few days, they’ll separate again as their semester ends. But they’ll have a shared adventure behind them, and the knowledge that wherever they are, they are still learning and living on similar journeys.
Hante might be a lot shorter, but when you leave your group, your trails run parallel just the same.