Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Of Friends, Companions, And Spirits..."

"We journey far and farther.
Then become friends with the winds.
Companions among all that stone.
Yet it was within the mountains we began to share in spirit...".  JRR Tolkien

"For All Our Shared Guides And Mentors..."

Yes, way back then, there was that truly essential guiding, the valuable teaching, the showing and necessary skill building, and all of the wonderful leading.
Yet, there was also so much more...
There were endless hours on very personal terrain for individual training, unique navigating, and priceless encouraging. There were as many days over even longer seasons for modeling, mentoring, and motivating - things as elementally important as any other element itself.
In much later years as well there was now the sharing of memories. the humour and stories, the remindings, and reflecting on all of the experiences of so much more than ever first realized.
Then, at a farther point on our joined trails, when reminiscing about the whole journey, we talked about the inevitable. That time when our paths would diverge and then forever change direction.
I will never forget the words quietly shared right then:
"I'll be climbing with you still".
So many further years have now passed. He no longer adventures among these earthly elements. Yet his words echo out resoundly and clearly.
"I'll be climbing with you still".
And he is..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to all those Guides & Mentors we all have been gifted with. I am listening even more closely this last while for their words of encouragement as I find my way on this present trail...

"Hello Altitude..."

"Hello Altitude.
My old friend.
Back to welcome & temper me.
Yet once again...".  Mountain Guide

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Farther Echoes..."

There were two climbers that adventure day, out upon a very elusive mountain peak. One was an elder adventurer, the second an enthusiastic and full of energy younger mountaineer.
The youth on this climb was pushing past limitations and challenging past perceptions of what was possible up there. While doing so, and when calling out climbing signals and commands, he noticed 'something else' kind of echoing back.
The higher these two adventurers climbed, the more clear the weather, the air, and these soft echoes became.
When finally attaining their shared mountain summit, the younger climber mentioned what had been heard throughout the day - when calling out, when yelling so, when then ensuring these calls were received.
There were responses of course, yet faint echoes too, of something.
Something else that was surely there as well.
The elder climber slowly smiled as this was being said, and then shared in turn how when out among the high places, we each begin to sense, so very much more...
The older climber, having been reminded of this gift, said that this was an experience many adventurers have. For what is being heard as time passes out there, are not just echoes of activity, or even of that moment, but for life itself...
For where you are when you call out.
When, and how, and why you call, all then become echoes for your life.
They reflect echoes of your very self.
Of who you want to be.
For the way you are choosing to live your life.

These two mountaineers, these two adventurers, were both long pondering their discussion, more silently on their way down.
Yet each were also listening even more closely now, and both were again hearing, so much more than ever before realized..... DSD

Shared on one of my Outward Bound courses.
Dedicated this season to all those on their first Outward Bound experience, and the wonderful new leaders who are now upon their journey as well.

"As Though..."

"Things you do,
Come back to you,
As though they knew the way...".  Rodgers & Hart

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Of Life And Harmony..."

"Love is the life of the soul.
It is the harmony of the universe...".  W.E. Channing

"Of Enjoyment And Love..."

"I so enjoy climbing.
It's a big part of me.
It's just going out into a mountain environment that I love.
The excitement of going for an unknown peak.
Where there is going to be an element of risk.
I so enjoy climbing...".  C. Bonington

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"From Your Heart..."

"Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top - it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others - it rises from your heart...".  J. Tabei

"That Of Which We Never Tire..."

"He does not climb only for himself, he throws open the gates of his mountains as a gardener opens the gates of his garden. The heights are a splendid setting for his work, and the climbing gives him a pleasure of which he never tires. But above all, he is repaid by the pleasure of the person he guides. He knows that such-and-such a climb is particularly beautiful, and that this ridge is delicate as lace. He says nothing of all this but his reward is in his companion's smile of discovery...".  G. Rebuffat

"Of Our Adventurous Spirit..."

"Physical struggle was part of the process of spiritual growth, and endurance was a demonstration of faith...".  K. Johnson

Monday, July 20, 2015

"The Longest Journey..."

"The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest for the source of his being...".  D. Hammarskjold

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Our Ancient Love Of The Adventurer's Rose..."

The Compass Rose... is often described as an ancient navigational symbol; a figure of direction; and a mandala for Adventurers.
It can be seen in so many forms, like on my Outward Bound pins which I am gazing upon at this moment. Countless references can be found in readings and stories that reflect on the historical values of its use; and in the meanings and analogies for compasses.
The Compass Roses' age old perspectives re-minds me to see adventure experiences through 'long term eyes'.
There are powerful metaphors and depth of meaning in well applying concepts of navigation and direction within our outdoor lives, and not just in the most practical sense of finding our way.
This image of a Rose within the Compass holds mystery too in allowing us to set an unknown but intentional course over lands and waters previously only dreamed about, and do we not all simply love that.
We have owned many compasses over the years, and still have them all.
I enjoy discovering the Rose as the key placed upon antique maps, which displays the skill of the artist, and have often been put there for luck, especially when the world was uncharted as it is now.
I've often painted elements of the Compass Rose on these small Summit Stones under mountains and oceans, to capture a sense of their essence.
If only a hidden one...
Some of the very first Summit Stones were only the painted face of a Compass. Now many have North, South, East, and West woven into the lines of paint on mountains.
I remember... Finding a Compass Rose carved into a large piece of driftwood just off Quadra Island.
I recall... a passage from a book in my youth, whose Author wrote:
"Under the rock was the rose of a compass that was not supposed to be there, carved as clearly into the stone as if etched that very day. If done by the hand of a mason or the elements I could not tell".
We each truly love the sense of mystery that accompanies the Compass Rose.
I believe that while Maps carry promises...
Compasses show us one way to fulfill these... DSD  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

"Then Into Both Love And Awe..."

"With a prolonged apprenticeship to mountaineering, there comes not only a mastery of the craft itself, but such an acquaintanceship with all natural forces as must surely ripen into both love and awe...".  L. Schuster

"Our Shared Love For The Mountains..."

"Ever since a small boy, I have loved to just look at the mountains, to see them in different lights, and from different angles, to feel their rough rock under my fingers, and the breath of their winds against my face... I am in love with the mountains...".  W. Noyce