The thought was triggered when I saw a small bobcat run across the road, and then a few small deer a couple of minutes later. I could not help but notice how ragged these free animals looked. The bobcat with it's brown matted fur and the deer with the same disheveled appearance, patches of fur appeared to be missing, and it looked somewhat hungry.
After passing the deer, I saw cows grazing in a fresh green pasture. Fenced in, but their needs provided for until they reach the day of slaughter. I also saw some llamas, also fenced in, feeding in the green fields. I imagined the deer having pity on these animals, and then running freely into the forest. Maybe the cows and llamas had pity on the deer as they happily fed themselves in the sun.
What about house cats? Those that are plump, with shiny fur coats? Some are allowed outside where they can practice hunting, others are not. What would the bobcat think, if anything, when he comes face to face with his domesticated brethren?
Often, I see hitchhikers and travelers walking, or biking down the roads along the coast. They have that same disheveled appearance. They appear to be free for the most part, as I drive past in the comfort of my car, snacking on cookies and coffee.
While hiking the PCT, the feeling of freedom was incredible, even though we still were not completely free. I also remember how exhausted we felt though too, as the elements took a toll on our bodies and minds day after day. It was not easy waking up dirty and tired many mornings. It also seemed impossible to stay clean. We all quickly took on a haggard appearance. Was it ultimately, better living?
Some days, it drives me nuts that I have to ask permission to take time off from work. Some days, I want to say "Screw it all!" and grab my backpack and begin walking again.