My name is Laura Fitzgerald and I am one of the Naturalists with the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association (SIHA). This week I am writing a blog post about how I find solace within the Sawtooth Mountains. There is a lot going on in the world currently, and it is always important to find a little bit of peace wherever you can.
Since March, my life, much like everyone else, has been in a state of uncertainty. Everyday there is something new happening around the world that adds a little extra worry. Like most people, I have a lot of questions because there is still so much that is unknown. What will my future look like? Will towns stay open? Will people feel safe, in more ways than one?
Luckily, I find myself in a place where I am able to escape from the world. A place where I can walk into the forest and forget some of the troubles we face each day. The Sawtooth Mountains have become a place of solace for me. They are where I am able to find peace, even for a minute.
I race to take the shuttle across Redfish Lake early in the morning so I can beat the crowds and have an alpine lake to myself. After work I find myself rushing off to hopefully a relatively empty spot to just be able to breathe for a few minutes.
When I am walking along a trail or paddling along an alpine lake, I cannot help but take a deep breathe in every time. I listen to the chirps of the birds around me that remind me that I am not alone on my adventures. I watch the squirrels scurry by trying to protect their homes and their caches of food. I see the prints in the snow or mud left by someone much larger than me with a goal of their own in mind. The jagged mountains looming over me making me feel safe and comforted in their shadows.
To notice these small aspects of nature brings me so much peace. It is a reminder for me to take a moment every now and then and just be present. To appreciate the details of this fascinating world that I live in and interact with on a daily basis. I do recognize how lucky I am to be able to call the Sawtooth Mountains my home. Not everyone has that opportunity, so I try not to take it for granted.
Yes, the world is coming together with COVID-19. The world, and America especially, are fighting for equality. The news and reality do not just disappear when I disappear into nature. The Sawtooth Mountains are a place where I can go and find solace during these times. A place where I am able to take a deep breath and re-center myself. I am not the only one either. I find a lot of visitors coming to these magical mountains seeking the same thing. They are trying to find a little slice of peace for themselves.
Have you found solace in the Sawtooth’s?