I’ve just started reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, and I highly recommend it. If you don’t know the story, the author decides to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail. It is a great story, not only about the hike, but her life.
I liked this passage about how her and her mom and her sister and brother and step-father lived in a small cabin in the woods when she was a kid:
There was a skylight window in the ceiling that ran the length of the platform bed I shared with Karen, its transparent pane only a few feet from our faces. Each night the black sky and the bright stars were my stunning companions; occasionally I’d see their beauty and solemnity so plainly that I’d realize in a piercing way that my mother was right. That someday I would be grateful and that in fact I was grateful now, that I felt something growing in me that was strong and real.
It was the thing that had grown in me that I’d remember years later, when my life became unmoored by sorrow. The thing that would make me believe that hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was my way back to the person I used to be.
If you want to know more about Cheryl, I liked this piece on BrainPickings about her.
You could also hear her talk here.