Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Steadily..."

 
"I think that one of the lessons of climbing is perseverance, having a vision and continuing on in spite of obstacles, putting one foot in front of another steadily until you get to your goal. Learning that lesson in mountaineering helps you apply it to all other activities." A. Blum

"Surely..."

"Let your mind be quiet, realizing the beauty of the world, and the immense, the boundless treasures that it holds in store. All that you have within you, all that your heart desires, all that your nature so specially fits for you - that waits embedded in the great whole... It will surely come to you... ". E. Carpenter

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Echoes Of A Flame..."

 
There is a small island... among many others... off the coast of a larger island...
A very favorite place of mine to wander by sea kayak. I had never set foot upon this particular point of rocky shore until during one very, very, low spring tide. I was just barely able to land for a brief stretch... I often wonder what I may find during such moments... new vistas, unseen terrain, maybe not touched by any other... something from our past... And that was the echo that I not so much saw, as sensed that sunny day...
Among the trees, above the waters, tucked into the rocky shore... was an ancient fire ring...
How ancient I am never sure, but old enough for trees to grow tall among the placed rocks of this ring... old enough for there to be no remains at all of a flame burning, except for some blackening barely left under the rocks used there...
But still... here this was... and I wondered over it; pondered further too about who had been there, how very long ago, and with what echoes they had lived their lives with...
They would have been looking then at pretty much what I was viewing at this present moment... They stayed longer in this spot than I would, to likely eat and sleep by this warm fire. The flames would have flickered off the nearby trees with the echo of their laughter falling upon the company of the ocean... Their presence would have been reflected in many ways as they lived that day among these secluded islands...
Such echoes create images in our minds eye of what was, even at times of what could be...
I remind myself that our actions in the wild places may echo and resonate for eternities just as these fire rocks have...
I ask often of myself too... what will we pass forward to be heard generations from now, and who will sense the reverberations of our intentions and adventures of today...
What an interesting connection over time... From ages ago until these moments; from then until now... from them to each of us... in the simple echo of a flame.....DSD

"Echoes Of A Quote..."

 

"Climb these summits and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." J. Muir
It was an Outward Bound instructor who was first to introduce me to this special quote by Muir... It is one I have pondered, mused, and planned from over these many years... A quote that set directions for me from all points of the compass...
Did you know that the actual writing of this quote is found to contain either the word 'mountains' or the word 'summits'... While being told the first version, the latter now resonates with me as the image of 'summits' has come to mean a great deal more too than the very top of a single mountain...
Some state Muir wrote it both ways as he did with many other notes and journal entries, when he wrote and then revised his musings, at different levels, after different experiences, and over long years of ponderings...
That Outward Bound instructor was so right, and Muir's words have indeed rung so true, over these past decades of wild place journeys and within so many adventure seasons...
I often re-read this 'first quote' while looking towards the horizon... for many more of such summits, sunshine, winds and storms, are waiting... patiently waiting... to be discovered and enjoyed out there..... DSD

"Of Motives..."

"If adventure has a final and all embracing motive it is surely this: We go out because it is in our nature to go out and climb mountains and to sail the seas, to fly the planets and plummet into the depths of the oceans. By doing these things we may touch with something outside or behind, which strangely seems to approve our doing them. We extend our horizon, we expand our being, we revel in the mastery of ourselves...". W. Noyce

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Our Story With No End..."

 


That is what our adventures are... A story with no end...
A story of promise, of possibility, desire, and high expectations. The wild places inspire these stories and we become trusting of such experiences from out there.
We remember the uplifting moments, the fulfillment's, and the transcendence's of the mountains...
We remember the knowings, the innocence, and the expressions of the desert...
We remember the potentials, the futures, and the feelings that the rivers share...
We remember too the oceans and lakes with their newness, the breakthroughs, and their messages of hope...
Wild places for many often especially create experiences of freedom, sometimes for redemption, even emancipation's and forgiveness...
They are a story too so phoenix like in spirit, with endless new beginnings and meanings, grand memories and sensing of something 'more than' to be found...
So many musings to be discovered, so much to be enjoyed, all inviting us to go onward, to go forward, to go beyond. A spirited story with no end, as there doesn't need to be, because the wonders are also in the journey and the telling of the story itself too..... DSD

"Telling Us Secrets..."

"Climbing can offer the same flood of newness, even after years of doing it, if you can let yourself be engrossed by what your experiences are telling you. Expectations become irrelevant. Your mind opens...". Goddard & Newman 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"One Step Beyond..."

 
We never know what might be just one step beyond...
We may never see what may be reached for just past our last effort,
We might never realize what possibilities may be just out of sight,
We may never grasp what is just beyond what we think we know, a bit further away from what we believe to be fact,
We will never know, never see, never realize, nor grasp...
If we do not stay the course,
If we are not continuing to challenge perceived limitations,
If we will not allow ourselves to become all of who we could be out in the wild places...
We never know, if we don't go, that simple one step beyond...   DSD

"One By One..."

One little piece,
One small portion,
One step, one thing,
One day, one night...
We don't really climb a high mountain all at once.
We more truly reach just for the next bit of rock...
We don't actually hike those long valleys endlessly.
We more simply take just that next step...
It's not about the distance it seems,
It's more about the focus we take and the spirit we bring.
The task of the whole,
Then becomes the wonder of the one's...
So on that day, during that moment,
When taking just the next step,
We are then on our way,
To being present..... DSD

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

"There Is A Place....."

There is a place we go in the mountains...
It is a place of resounding quietness, of gentle winds, talking breezes... a place of rock and trees, of stone so stark, yet inviting...
There is a place we go in the mountains of such cold moving waters... a place barren yet nourishing... a place of seasons both of life and in death...
It is mostly a place of memories... this place we go in the mountains...
I am looking at pictures of this place right at this moment... and in my minds eye I can recall the seasons passing, while my senses still feel the warmth, the cold, the sun, the night...
I have hiked and climbed in this place with my partner and close friends, sharing so much... I have been out there in solitude as well... Yet never really alone...
This place we go in the mountains is most especially somewhere we have privately named for someone who is no longer with us... A quiet person of great strength who does not share these particular elements with those of us still wandering...
We visit there each adventure season to be with him again... to join in remembering the way he lived his life and the amazing spirit he was... is...
When out solo, I talk with him still... I tell him of my year, the trials, successes, all the moments... This year in particular when by myself, I found unexpected tears welling up of joy and sadness when approaching this place we go in the mountains...
This terrain and his spirit provides much comfort and solice to me, yet a challenge too... He was more of an adventurer than I will ever be... He was able to see and understand things from a height I've only dreamed of attaining...
We all need such places to journey to...
This is a place where I learned about true gratitude, and where I feel humbled... Where I reflect upon how he was so grateful even when he was given so little...
It reminds me not to take for granted what he was never gifted with - physical health...
He never had the chance to trek to this place in the mountains we have quietly named for him...
He couldn't... He was too ill all of his short life... His legs would never carry him as far as his mind had already wandered... His existence was one of pain and suffering, yet his endurance was endless... The adventure life race he ran was more grueling than any we could invent to challenge ourselves with...
There is a place we go amongst the summits to remember a soul who never climbed a mountain, never set foot upon a trail, never paddled the ocean or any northern lake, never once rappelled into a deep canyon... yet he was more in touch with the spirit of adventure than many...
There is a place we go... He went there too... in his minds eye, when the pain became too much... He said it gifted him with a sense of comfort...
There is a place we go in the mountains to wonder how someone so weak could be so strong... How someone who never attained any summit, could inspire so many... How someone so pressed could laugh and smile so much...
There is a place we go in the mountains... to acknowledge that this wild area is only there because of the many who have passed it forward for each of us to adventure within... He was never able to go himself, but he knew this and would still say that such a wild place is a 'gift twice given'... Given to us to find ourselves in, and for us to learn about then giving to others...
I have such good memories of this place we go in the mountains... And he beckons to us all dear Finder... to see through his eyes what many may never perceive... to believe in what most never experience... to savour each precious moment out in the wild places... to enjoy the energy and strength within this physical shape we have been gifted with...
He is one of my most potent inspirations...
There is a place we go in the mountains to remember that while his form has returned to the elements we will all share too soon... his spirit wanders freely still...
In that place we go in the mountains.....
DSD

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"If....."

"If you could be an animal, what animal would you be? Answering that question creates a powerful personal metaphor." Grey Wolf

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"As We So Far Journey..."

 
Countless dreams, endless visions, like eternally polished stones,
As we so journey, very far away, we then discover home...
Hand worn wooden staff and paddle,
Ancient trails of rock and water,
Along paths of such immense beauty, enduring memories then to share...
Elusive summits, among open valleys,
Overlooking deep canyons, at first so very hidden,
Islands of wonder, wild rivers and oceans,
Seeking the whole mystery, becoming even quieter still...
We are able to discover, so much eternal wonder,
While musing and pondering, lingering and wandering,
Seeing with new eyes, within our many adventurous ways...
Finding such connections, along our shared paths,
As we so long journey,
We will surely then discover home..... DSD

"Echoes Beyond Echoes..."

 
From where ever they call, we at first may not know.
So very old they are, such elder lingering whispers.
Far away they seem to be.
Quietly, softly, spoken.
Resonations of real vitality and spirit.
Reflections too of so much more.
Than just simple sounds alone.
Long have they clearly journeyed.
Waiting yet for us to hear.
Crossing our paths as we begin to understand.
For our own echoes they actually are.
By their very elemental nature.
Ancient echoes of our true selves.
Whom as adventurers we will become..... DSD

"Rememberings... Far Away Yet So Close..."

 
Such a long solo sea kayak trip... So very long even though the days out were few... Longer even than many past trips because the journey was not so much of distance but more seemingly through time...
It was around a very distant point I kept going past in order to discover a lovely cove behind those great rocks. There tides and currents and waves all conspired to keep much hidden away, but then would share their secrets if a wanderer was persistent and determined enough.
When first stepping out upon that sand, a slow stretch was needed, and it was then that I felt more than I just saw of this Island being stood upon, more than the very old trees and the even older rocks nearby. I needed a moment to allow whatever was trying to gently seep into my consciousness the time necessary to do so. So I just sat down... half in the ocean, half upon this secluded shell and sand beach.
It was only when my kayak began its slow movement away from me that I realized how far I was drifting myself, and thus began a time where many hours were lost, yet so many moments were found...
I can't say all of what I guess took place, as those endless waves of thoughts moved about, through, and around me. Many I wrote in my journal but too many others drifted away with the gently receding of the tide. I think I must have lived many passings of the moon, maybe even of the seasons, that single day... such was the meanderings of the moments, the wanderings of what we usually think we understand of this concept and metaphor of time.
I remember two eagles, and a few other more cautious birds come and go with the whispering breezes. I was pondering them as they were surely wondering about me and why I was there. Those other previously planned objectives were not to be met that day, but that was no matter, as so many other meaningful and wonderful things developed instead.
I recall losing count of the larger waves I was watching that would roll up in that secret series that they have, but instead gained a sense of some other rhythms that were not known to me before... When another stretch was needed I simply stood up, walked a bit, although you couldn't really call it a walk. It was more of a drifting, strolling movement where my legs moved from rock to rock, sand to tree, through wave after wave, and the rest of me simply followed along. Then there were the endless pauses where so much time was spent just standing, gazing, dreaming, breathing, all of this simply second by second upon second.
The small meals I ate throughout that so alive quiet day were nutritious and tasted so good, as if they were made of more than just food; which is often like that out in such places of wilderness...
Some of the tracks in those sands I knew well, others belonged to those shadow creatures, the very small ones, who only come out at night or when you invite them - more with attitude than with foods they shouldn't have anyway. I sensed them there as well, basking among the rocks, hidden in the sun dappled trees, watching me to see if I had yet to become one of them, and then could be trusted with their treasures...
I think it was also that symphony of those deeply quiet resonating natural sounds that took away any need to keep moving back upon the ocean. Sounds that invited me to linger longer among those musical longings... Sounds which came and went as did those images in my mind of places, people, loves, and other lives we each have all shared out there and back here...
There were none of those other kinds of disruptions during that day of countless hours and endless moments. It was a day I will envision again often when in the midst of traffic and concrete, distractions and disputes, and other so seemingly important demands, which will all eventually ebb away into the background, where they really belong anyway.
We are often so grasping of schedules and other things we are told are so necessary, that such ephemeral moments as those on that island, of subtle but more true importance, are often lost in time...
There is just something about the very waters edge where the ocean holds close to the land, and where the rocks return that embrace, which speaks to our most inner being, and how we live out our lives...
Many of us who wander the wild places can attest to the experience of living a lifetime during the span of a day out there... We know that the clock many times has no function during such journeys of the sun and the moon and the wind. We have all instead felt that the heartbeat inside of us, and of those around us, are the only real measure that an adventurer needs an awareness of... Where the only timely elements that matter are the winds that caress our face, the sun which glides slowly across above us, the waves that gently rock us, and the animals who still themselves and come to sit beside us...
Hours were lost that day... Treasures within the moments were found..... DSD