Nature is a marvellous force that purveys every corner of the universe. We owe our existence to a momentarily truce that will inevitably be broken by either our own doing or by a subtle occurrence in nature that would make life like ours incapable of surviving. It is only now, as an advanced society of people, that we can turn around and look at the splendor and unfathomable beauty of nature. We see the sunsets, trees, waterfalls, exotic animals, and astronomical movements as things of tremendous beauty. But this is really a recent phenomenon...The fact is that creatures who live under the pressure nature live in a constant state of stress and mostly die a horrible death by predation or starvation. Because we have cut ourselves off from nature, and have mitigated it's presence in our lives we can appreciate the more wonderful aspects of it. But there are those times when we either get caught by the natural world or unwittingly thrust ourselves back into it without the slightest clue of how to survive. Case in point, last weekend with Matt at the summit of Mont Tremblant...
...It started with an innocent motive, "Hey Mary, lets drive up to the mountains and have a nature day...go hiking and stuff". It sounded fantastic to me. I hadn't been outside of the city in months and wanted a little change in scenery. So we got up early and drove the 2 hours north and arrived at the ski resort town thats clustered at the base of the mountain. We paid the 18.00-a-person tickets to take the gondola up to the summit. We enjoyed the splendid panorama view that unfolded before us as we were hoisted further up the mountain. When we arrived to the summit, I noticed these annoying flies buzzing around. Not thinking much of them, we followed our trail map that lead us back down to the base. Now, my first mistake was wearing my cowboy boots instead of a legitimate pair of hiking shoes. This seems to be a common problem of mine: wearing inappropriate shoes. So I didn't really have much traction on the trail. The rocks kept slipping under my boots so we had to progress down very slowly. I couldn't even enjoy the view because I was constantly fixed upon the ground, watching every step.
I think we had gotten so transfixed on my shoes that we had gotten off trail. We were on a steep incline when we agreed that it was now too far to go back...it would just be exhausting hauling our sorry asses back up the slope. But at this point we had noticed that the flies from the summit were getting worse. I put my hand on the back of my neck to feel a whole cluster of flies attached to me by their horrible little mandibles. I panicked. I soon realized these were flesh eating flies and they were swarming us...the only people on the trail and their the focus of their blood thirsty attention. We had to get down ASAP, but it would be another hour or so before we could reach the base. The entire way down we were screaming and swatting and scrapping off clusters of flies off of our skin. They would fly into my ear and down my throat and up my shirt. It was fucking AWFUL to say the least. There came a moment in my panic stricken mind that we just might not make it. I might slip and break my ankle due to my slick boots and the flies would come and carry my body off.
Matt was the one who kept me from slipping too far. In situations like those the bond between your partner becomes stripped down and exposed. All reservations are thrown out, its just you and your partner trying to do the most basic action: survive! We kept each other's spirits up by simply laughing at how unbelievably absurd the situation was. Here we were, stuck alone on a mountain, running down hill like mad men while being eat alive by a swarm of flies. From the outsider's perspective, it must of been down right hilarious. Matt and finally made it to the base...we could hear the PA system in the resort blasting Lady Gaga. I never felt more happy to hear her shitty songs. By the time we had reached civilization, our faces and necks were covered in blood, our clothes dirty, and a crazed look in our eye. We b-lined straight for the car and drove straight home.
Now, I realize that we were not in any real danger. We weren't isolated in the middle of nowhere, and we were not being attacked by bears. But it did give us a taste of what nature has in store for those who do not have the luxuries of civilization. The natural world is harsh and mostly wants to destroy you. The only reason why we as a species are able to flourish is because we have scrapped bits of nature away and built a fortress around ourselves to keep her nasty flies out.