An Ode to Every Woman Who’s Ever Been Called Outdoorsy

Words & Photos by Madison Perrins

You, a natural resource.

You who feels like the best version of herself at sunset when the air is crackling and the dirt’s between your toes.

You who as the sun’s rising, promises to be quiet and let the dawn share its secret with the day on its own.

You who, at high noon, have almost-but-not-quite dared the sun to burn your skin, imagining the cracked patina leather it would someday become: signs of a life outside. But you know better than to dare the sun anything.

Madison Perrins sun flare

You who have pulled on crusty socks unceremoniously and brushed off those who notice.

You, who know that all the bruises and scrapes from scrambling and rambling are the best because they remind you of being alive. Someone may even point it out: “How’d ya do that?” And you shrug your shoulders, because you honestly don’t know.

You who have shed tears on the trail without really knowing why.

You who look at the mountains and think they must know everything about you, and you who look at the sea and are sure that it doesn’t care about you at all.

You who have surprised yourself by falling behind the group, and you who have surprised yourself by charging ahead. The trail is the same, but each time, you’re the one who’s different.

Madison Perrins beach hikers

You who have surprised yourself by falling behind the group, and you who have surprised yourself by charging ahead. The trail is the same, but each time, you’re the one who’s different.

Madison Perrins crater lake

You who, however gracefully, made it. Sometimes it’s ugly, and sometimes you move across the water or rock and have never felt lighter.

You who smiles as someone tries to understand why you have to be barefoot at least some portion of the year, or come in with rosy cheeks and wild hair and dirt clinging in clumps to, well, anywhere it can get. And you who don’t really need them to understand anyways.

You who have found your remedy—you lucky girl. It takes some years to know about the cure-all of dried sweat and moon-stains.

You, a natural resource, supplied by nature, and made up of it, too. I am proud of you.

Madison Perrins is a Montana-based photographer and consistent contributor to She Explores. Find more of her work in her portfolio and on Instagram.