Our calling is where our deepest gladness and the world’s hunger meet.
– Frederick Buechner
The craft of a fulfilling life grows from our sacred work – work that embodies our soul’s particular gifts and affinities. In the context of the Wilderness Quest, a ritual of solitude and fasting in nature, this work is called our giveaway.
Our giveaway is the gift we give to our people and the land. It is not necessarily, and most times isn’t, paid work. It is not our job. It is our craft.
It is the artistry we bring to our life and how we live it. It is the sensitivity and response we give to the needs of this life, at this time, in this place, with these people, with an aim to break an easier path for those people yet to be born.
So we Quest to ask the sacred mountain, What is my work?
We may Quest to initiate a fresh beginning, seek guidance and clarity for projects, or inspiration for new chapters of life yet to be written.
We may Quest to mark the end of a great piece of work we have just completed such as the end of a marriage, or the completion of schooling, or retirement from a career or role or identity that we have outgrown.
We may Quest to honour an important visitation such as illness, bereavement, divorce, loneliness, estrangement, grief, rage, or confusion.
We may Quest to prove ourselves worthy in the face of our fears.
We may Quest to say goodbye to parts of ourselves that are no longer worthy of us.
The Quest is a form of self-initiation.
In a Western culture so bereft of elders, it is rare to be witnessed, guided across important thresholds, and well met by a circle of informed and understanding adults each step of the way. Your Quest is an opportunity to ceremonially and physically immerse yourself in an intensive practice of spiritual devotion so you might discover and know in your bones what your giveaway really is.
The Quest is a form of ecotherapy.
It’s a rite of healing and growth that springs from healthy interaction with the earth. During your Quest, nature will mirror you. Nature will engage and guide you. Nature will show you who you are. Through nature, you will come to remember your Ecological Self – the Self that is woven into all things. Nature will be your partner as you seek to release old colonial-industrial mindsets and learn, through observation and participation, how to once again be embedded and woven into a larger Whole.
The Quest is a form of deconditioning.
While there’s no doubt that psychology, analysis and various forms of talking therapies have indeed improved the lives of millions, these forms of therapy have grown up within kyriarchal structures and culture. The Quest can be seen as a step on the path of recovery from an addiction to the world as we know it – a way to process disillusionment, eco-grief, despair, and the collective developmental trauma that comes from living in a culture of hyperindividualism.
Surrendering ourselves to nature and her pace, we re-attune to primal modes of understanding, to our dependence on the earth, and the importance of our relationship with the land, the water, and each other.
Whatever your reason for Questing, your journey begins the moment you say yes to it in your heart, and will continue to unfold long after you return from the mountain.