Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Looking Deeply..."

I enjoy it immensely when our sea kayaks glide so softly, as they do in those long moments, as we come in now very closely to a quiet island shoreline... The waters out here are always so much calmer than further upon the open ocean. Then everything becomes very still... The water, our selves, and eventually the kayak too as it drifts more slowly along. Then I close my eyes and listen for a time, tuning into those other elusive elements that we need to sense and hear as well. At some point I find myself then looking over the side of the kayak, gazing down upon the water, seeing beyond the reflections of myself and the craft I am cradled in, looking deeply for something beyond... Because it seems there are always other things down there in those depths - movement of the life that lives in the world below, rocks that I would so enjoy to gather, reflections of another paddler, surprisingly looking like me but not really the same. If we all take some moments to look this deeply, there are symbols too, of the past, this present, and hopefully this wild places' future as well. Time to look more deeply..... DSD

My friendly appreciation to those water folk, T. Page for the top image above, and also to S. Shephard for the lower image.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Seeing Inside The Mountain & The Wave..."

More than a few decades ago, as I was in those early years of learning many needed outdoor skills, and among the endless yearnings to be out practicing them - I was given three small gifts... Two of these are similar in that they are small crystal figures. One of a mountain, the other of a wave. On each of these can be seen the unique outline and character of what we might expect to see upon such a mountain or wave image. The mountain itself has its lines, ridges, cliff like glass faces, the apex of these leading to the summit itself. The wave has its lines too, the curves we would expect, and the character of such waters that are felt in its crystalline presence. Two beautiful gifts. Two pieces of crystal that present images and also symbolism... The third gift though, was what had been said to me, written as it was in the accompanying card. For if you turn these two crystals around, on their more hidden sides, it is as if a section of both the mountain and the wave have been cut away. You can now see inside of these icons and gaze deep within them. Their internal worlds are both so very unique. You are able to see, and sense, and even feel so much more about that mountain and that wave... This is what my third gift was. A few words written for me that said, "You are an adventurous person. What you seek is inside. Inside of the mountains, inside of those waves, inside of yourself...". I thought to share this story with you my Friends, today as I find myself dusting these old gifts off, and remembering the enduring message of them, the truths they held out, and how they further inspired me to stay the course these long years of challenges, trials, trails, and adventures... Now its time to be away coastal beach trekking and coastal island sea kayaking... DSD

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Problems To Be Proud Of..."

In the midst of my first Outward Bound course, among mountains I had dreamed over for years as a youth, we shared a day of long rappels and rocky learnings, while moving over a very high and steep cliff face. As I now again read over my journal from way back then, and ponder the many years that have passed, I see again yet another quote from one of our Instructors - one that I put a big question mark beside and underlined a few times too... That was a day of distinct struggle for some of us, a day of anxious unknowns and problems to be met that most had never been faced with before - especially for me it seemed as I experienced what it was like to be gripped up there; not knowing what to do next; not seeing how there was any solution to what was before me... With the boisterous encouragement of my new friends, and the sincere support of our Instructors, I moved through those moments; yet it didn't feel like much of a success. At least back then, in the beginnings of those initial learnings... Sitting on the rock in our circle afterwards, as the sun began its own descent, I shared how that even while having gotten through the day, I wasn't sure I might ever want to tackle that kind of problem again. Our Instructor led a discussion then about the nature of such challenges, the particulars of problems and trials that are often hidden from us - and that the real elemental issue about them to be solved is more often our perceptions rather than just the circumstances before us. The scribble from my journal captured what quietly had been said next though, as we talked more about our adventure experiences, and how they might assist us in navigating through other challenges in life. In facing these, our Instructor stated, it can be so subtly important as we make our way, "To choose problems we can be proud of... Problems you can respect yourself for having...". My young ears had never heard such a description. How could it be that we each 'choose' our problems, on the many levels they confront us? That we can then be the person we want to be proud of in having made such choices? Now after much time has passed I can gaze back upon the trials and issues, obstacles and hurdles, that were 'chosen' over the years and sense the self respect we each can have for having done so... Adventures can very much be the means on this kind of path of understanding. Adventures among mountains and canyons, over rivers and oceans, inherently hold out elements to us that we can be proud of for having faced and embraced them. We become full of self respect for having engaged with them. Then this experience, like a stone gathered up by a waterfall when out wandering, we then bring such perspectives back here, another so valuable gem from out there, and discover the ways and means to become proud of the life problems we all seem to eventually choose to navigate. That Instructor's quiet comment still amazes me to this very day..... DSD

My gratitude to the Quiet Ones for the images above.

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Touching A Hundred Million Years..."

On top of this summit we touch a hundred million years... Imagine what these rocks have seen; envision our brief history in relation to them; perspectives upon perspectives... There, as we drift by those rocks of our Northern Shield lakes. we can know thousands upon thousands of seasons. So many passages of peoples, of animals... So beautifully carved by tons of ice and countless storms of snow. Deep in this canyon we also embrace the millenia, the timeless, the endless... We raft through ages upon ages, eons upon eons, among layer upon layer of time. Time though, is an unknown concept to such a canyon. Yet it still shares with us, allows us to touch a hundred million years... What a gift in being able to enjoy the memories of such earth and rock and timelessness, in touching a hundred million years and more... DSD

My appreciation to D. Tomlinson for the above images.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

"More Within....."

There is, you know... There can truly be, we realize at times, more deeply within us all... Within you, and inside every one of us. Depths yet to be divined, distances yet to be understood. Let's do whatever it takes, to find such wonders of potential within. For then all we do out there, the heights and dreams desired, the moments we so seek; there are more truly met and measured by - not just that of the physical, nor things only of the mind, very often by close friends, yet always from within our spirit... Synergy, energy, motivation, drive... Such enthusiasm within, becomes realities without. Then there is, we come to realize and know, so much more deeply within us all..... DSD

My gratitude to J. Burcham for the top image above.

Friday, June 03, 2011

"Now Is The Time..."

"If there's something special you want to do, now is the time... If you want to make a difference in the world, now is the time. Don't be fooled into thinking you should wait until you are older or wiser or more secure - because it doesn't work that way. The wisdom will come. The security will come. But first you must begin your adventure." R. Atchison

An alpine start under a very full moon. Beginning a journey towards an unknown mountain. Anticipation, excitement, and such shared commitment within our new beginnings. Can there be anything else, quite like our adventures... Now was the time... DSD

My appreciation to Ron Atchison from 'Inspiration Peak' for this wonderful musing.