Into the Woods

I’ve watched a couple of Disney fairy tale movies recently, and both brought me reminders of how I want to — need to — live my life.

In Cinderella, the dying mother tells Ella to have courage and to always be kind. Good reminders! ( Similar to the admonition Swayze gave his bouncers in the adult fairy tale Roadhouse. Be nice . . . until it’s time not to be nice.)

In Into the Woods, the witch tells Rapunzel that she is safer in the tower, that yes, charming princes are out there in the woods, but so are bad things, such as wolves. It seemed reflection of my current state of affairs, where people remind me of the dangers of a woman traveling alone, and either urge me to settle down and if l still insist on traveling, then bring a companion. And yet, despute their concern and possibly good advice, I still wish to go into the woods alone.

Having a companion would be very nice at times during my travels, but being alone would also nice, especially for an introvert. (An introvert is not always a timid loner as we often imagine. An introvert is simply someone who gains strength, energy, and renewal by being alone. Extroverts gain the same advantages by being around people.) And, considering the purpose of my journey — to embrace life; to interact with the world in a more basic way; to find new ways of being me — alone time is a must.

So into the woods . . .

At least, that’s the plan. I’m still city-bound, still vehicleless, still living on the mercy of friends still dreaming of adventure. But one day soon, my real journey will begin. Or maybe it already has. It becomes more impossible every day to imagine myself in an apartment or rented room, and more possible to imagine myself going into the woods. Alone.


(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

10 Responses to “Into the Woods”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Nothing wrong with exploring alone. Decisions on whether to go come so much either. I might be traveling solo myself in the near future. And I saw Cinderella too. Very visually stunning, even if the story is pretty old-fashioned. Haven’t seen Into the Woods though. Any good?

  2. Kathy Says:

    When I was going through a divorce, trying to build a new life without a mate, I went on a few girlfriend trips. I soon discovered that I’d rather travel by myself. But, really, I preferred traveling with a man. And that man became my next husband. 🙂

  3. Constance Koch Says:

    Just be cautious and aware when traveling alone. Try not to travel alone at night. You will be fine. Happy Travels.

  4. Carol Louise Wilde Says:

    I’m an introvert, but I still get lonely. Aren’t you afraid of that?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Luckily, loneliness no longer frightens me. I have a hunch, though, I won’t be alone as much as I expect, especially on the well traveled trails. There seems to be a very strong women’s hiking community.

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