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Issue 06

Into the Wilds

Sara Osborne

Sara Osborne is an Adjunct Instructor of Composition and Classical Education at the College of the Ozarks, a lifelong learner, and the mother of four curious children. She enjoys good books, travel, rich conversation and adventuring outdoors. Photographs by the author.


I’d be lying to say I wasn’t a bit nervous, driving through hours of sprawling landscapes and no cell phone service – without another vehicle in sight. When my mother and I pulled through the gate of our fishing lodge, I breathed a little easier, looking forward to human contact and settling into a comfortable room. I’ve always loved the wilderness, but after eighteen years of marriage and birthing four children, I am seldom without husband or child in wild places. In fact, when I pulled into the lodge’s dirt parking lot, eyeing the tumbleweed blowing across the road, the solitude was eerily unnerving.  

A day or two into our westward fishing expedition found me venturing out into the High Uinta Mountains, fly fishing freestone creeks and small, clear streams in solitude. Our guide often left me alone in order to help my mother, and the sheer silence began to chip away at the modern distractions normally vying for my attention. Senses alive to the sights, sounds and smells of nature, I was enraptured – by something I hadn’t felt in a long time. 

The poem which follows explores the impact of wild landscapes on our human experience, something I became keenly aware of after this fly-fishing trip to a remote area. It had been quite some time since I had inhabited a place so unlike the urban (or even rural town) habitats in which most people live and move about. I encountered God in a profound way through those wild places and became more convinced that we must nurture such treasures.

Ila Mae McAfee, Mountain Lions

Into the Wilds


From walled-in fluorescence

And pavement shrouded in high-pitched whine –

From people swarming,

Doing, going, moving in time –

Take me out of the noise,

The steady rhythm of busy business.

Pull me away from constant motion

Into other-worldly wilder-ness.

Let the long roads take me

Past glowing paths of tinted street-light.

Let the night wash o’er me

Until I reach unfettered starlight.

Lead me into the wilds

Of rocky cliffs and stream-side wonder.

Leave me to touch the sky,

To trace the flashing fish-forms under.

Find me standing silent, 

Gaze fixed on sparkling, sun-soaked riffles.

Find me casting – calling –

To swimming shapes of slivered silver.

Hear the wind’s strong whisper;

Listen to aspen dancing in the breeze.

Take me to the wild lands –

Among these I am free.