While aimlessly wandering the juniper flats of Northern Arizona in search of shed elk antlers every spring, I often stumble across arrowheads abandoned in the shifting soils. It seems that I find one every time I head out. These lost relics appear with the spring erosion of melting snow, begging for their story to be revived by elicit day dreaming. I often spend hours pondering how these heads have met their current; ephemeral resting place. This head in particular sent me on a whirlwind of emotion and deep thought.
“Would they be disappointed” I asked myself. Over and over again, I couldn’t shake the thought of how soft we have become as members of this planet. We live cush lives completely detached from the real world of death, hard work, and the humbling despair of watching your dinner run over the hilltop after an errant shot from your hand crafted archery equipment. I delved deeper, life was hard I thought; really hard. What a time to be alive, resources are scarce in this arid country and missing out on a meal could be devastating to your familial tribe. I wish like hell that I could sit down with one of those ancient people and hear them describe their lifestyle. The pain, the triumphant wins, and everything in between. I want to hear and feel all of it, to inhale that connection to every second of the world around me. At the same time, I feel I would be remarkably embarrassed to share my story. They would be disappointed in all of us if I shared the woes of the modern world. The stunning disconnect of where all of our basic necessities come from. Our food is purchased from the store, our water comes from a pipe in the wall, and our shelter? Oh yeah, someone else built that and delivered it in exchange for a valueless piece of mulched tree matter that we stained green.
It seems difficult to even register what it would be like to not have food an arms length away in the refrigerator, the pantry, or my favorite restaurant at all times. We assume that it will be provided to us at no effort. The hunters must have been revered during those times of strife, when food was hard to come by. I can only imagine the elation of watching the tribe’s best hunter, stumbling heavy footed under the weight of a deer carcass on their shoulders, eyes tired, skin burned, and the last bit of their body’s hydration dripping from their dirty brow as they step in to their village. A hero for a day. Only a day? Yes, of course only a day. Tomorrow there is more work to be done. Yet, for that moment; what a feeling as those you love most gaze upon you as you provide riches for your tribe.
I walked for miles in a humbled fog of mixed emotions and desire for more. I want the struggle, I want the ache in my muscles, the pride of providing for my tribe. I strive to surround myself with those individuals of whom I can put full faith in, individuals who work for the greater cause and provide their individual skillset to insure success of the tribe first. Without them, we all fail. I hope that you strive for more and understand that your problems are small compared to those who had to hunt down their next meal with the weight upon their shoulders of a hungry tribe waiting back at camp.
Do something truly HARD this week, something you have been afraid of, something that connects you to your primal state and then send us a message. We would love to hear about it.
Take care of your tribe,