1. dérive | 2. derive
/dəˈrīv/ - (verb)
1. French - "to drift." Meaning: a spontaneous journey, in which the traveler cuts loose from everyday relations, letting themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain, feeling the spirit of the landscape as it moves them.
2. English - "to stem from." Meaning: to base on an original concept, to have as a root or origin.
We all have an ability to read those landscapes we move through...
Traveling through Yellowstone felt like this: free flowing, following the signals of the land. Steam vents showing me the way through the pine trees. Vivid orange minerals warning me to watch my step. When we stopped for lunch in the forest, I listened instinctively to the twittering of birds, to tell me of any approaching bear. Waking with the sunrise, and sleeping under stars. Gathering firewood: the small, dead chips and fallen branches strewn about under trees, between patches of mushrooms... mushrooms that spoke to me of many underground webs, and of lovely damp soil. I knew to keep a respectful distance at many times, especially when faced with a large bison. I knew from the smell of the pine sap, that it would help heal my scraped leg. I knew the effort it would take to jump from shore to shore on the tiny islands of the lake.
Connecting with the land is like a dance with a partner, it is all about listening to your own body and the movements of the outside world. In the end, you will learn they are so intimately connected, they were never separate.
In the beginning and the end, we are all derived from our surroundings... we stem from the ground just like flowers. Our origins, continuations, and endings are all in the dirt.