Love In Deprivation
To deprive yourself of something goes against our fundamental human instincts. We are created to satiate and fill our bodies and minds with stimuli that create fulfilling sensations. Whether that is having your stomach full with food, having your ears filled with noise, having your mind filled with thoughts, distractions, and anything to distract from just being. Yet, the very essence of hiking, especially thru-hiking, is to deprive yourself of many of these creature comforts. To deprive yourself of instinctual satisfaction. A bear doesn't withhold its need to hibernate, it doesn't tell itself, "well if I withheld for another week or two, I would really enjoy the sleep that much more." A bird doesn't postpone its migration patterns because the fruit would be that much sweeter if they just withheld a little longer. A fish doesn't consciously leap into a boat, to experience a withdraw from breathing, to go back into the water to experience higher levels of relief and satisfaction. No other animals consciously chose to deprive themselves for satisfaction besides humans. So why do we do it?
Sometimes deprivation even comes in the form of consumption...
Here we were deprived of comfort, joy, and lack of pain while consuming the sweatiest block of cheese we have ever had the grace of "eating." Eating is a very loose word here...
Well one of the reasons could be we have the conscious thought and choice to do so. We are all just one giant paradoxical puzzle. By realizing we receive satisfaction and joy from indulging in the food, activities, thoughts that we enjoy, we at the same time realize there is difficulty to not consume. This leads us into waters that there are no depths. A philosophical pool of the mind that cannot be explained, unless you were a philosopher or psychologist, by which we have no claim.
Clinging to the delayed gratification we believe that the consumption will be that much sweeter. The consumption of our favorite food. The consumption of our favorite activity. The consumption of our favorite daydream. By delaying we are ripening the fruit of our souls. For what reason and what end when there is already enjoyment and fulfillment to be had in the immediate, the now?
A thru-hike deprives you everyday of creature comforts. It deprives you of warmth when its cold. It deprives you of a welcoming chill when it's sweltering. It deprives you of a full stomach when you are starving. It deprives you of a home when you need shelter. It deprives you of comfort when you experience pain. It deprives you of camaraderie when you are alone. It deprives you of a family when you are always a child. It deprives you of joy when you experience grief. It deprives you of a life when you are living. It deprives you, but fills you completely.