From September ‘17 to May ‘18, I had the opportunity to undertake a different type of education: an intensive dive into a program called Hunter Gatherer Immersion. We learned to track bear and fox across the sands of the Oregon coast, forage and prepare the bountiful plants of the American Northwest, and hunt turkey with the bows we had carved, using the knives we had forged. We slept in snow caves, and fasted alone while we learned from the fires we had sparked, with the tools we had created.

Through it all, the five of us bonded in a way that few in our country do these days: quietly, with respect for each other’s journey, and a mutual reverence of nature. By the end, we had experienced something so personal that it proved difficult to share; but like the forest, the words are better left behind, in favor of truer expressions.