Friday, July 26, 2013

"Further Sunrises... Farther Sunsets..."

Often we pause and linger, as the sun slowly wanders,
On its' own trails across the wide open sky...
It welcomes us and greets us, always just where we are at.
Then embraces us with both warmth and direction.
It seems to awake very often, much like we do.
Then much later goes off to rest as we need as well.
Each first arising moment, always feels like new energetic beginnings.
The other quiet time of setting invites such emotions of completion...
After so many years out on adventures,
At times I assume that the best ones have already been shared.
But these last seasons have reminded me once more,
Of the forever possible moments truly yet to be enjoyed.
Amidst the beauty and the wonder,
Of unfolding further sunrises.
Within the gentle smiles and awe,
Along with a farther inspiring sunset.
Sunrises are such eternally natural gifts provided for us.
Sunsets then reflect the inherent gratitude we then always feel..... DSD

Dedicated to those who create such amazing images, from within their own grand adventures, and who then share them with us all. My sincere appreciation my Friends.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"A Further Full Circle....."

That small stones' beginning was an historical one.
Countless years and endless elements all so very slowly polishing it over the millenia. It was the smoothness, shape, and in particular its location within a tiny sheltered cove among those distant coastal islands, that had held my attention. Discovering it way back then was a gift, as I find myself almost letting out a small gasp of appreciation when such beautiful ancient stones are first seen...
This little stones' story then became the painted scenes that unfolded upon its' rocky face. I slowly 'mixed in' each and every element also gathered up on that secluded island. Particles of sand, of ash from my beach fire, a crumbled tiny piece of a leaf, and even a few drops of that special salt water. The mixed in and painted scenes hopefully express the spirit of that wild place, and then too the journey this little Summit Stone would now be taking...
It awaited a few more seasons, then was placed within a summit cairn. High upon an elusively challenging and wonderfully engaging mountain, which I had waited years to climb.
Now, this is where the story of this stone began to unfold even further...
The Finder, R.T., sent me a message, telling of the smiles of that discovery. Then shared more as his Summit Stone had now been passed forward even farther.
It always humbles me beyond words to learn of the stories of Finder's Summit Stones...
For this small painted rock, some longer years later, within the twists & turns of serendipity and previously unknown trails, actually was returned to me once more.
R.T. had passed it forward to another adventurer. Then that person who was known to me, wanted to give it back. So within a full circle journey, this Summit Stone was returning to my hands yet once more...
I so cherish such experiences, learning of the trails a little Summit Stone has travelled, finding out about the smiles and awareness, inspired even a bit all along the way. Such good homes they do find with each of you my Friends...
But this story does not end. Not here. Certainly not now.
For while this stone was a touch weathered, its' coating somewhat scraped, and that initial date on the back a touch faded, I decided to mix in and paint yet other perspectives upon it. Ones that blended with the stories already present. Then I initialed it a second time, with that silver ink as well.
We adventurers often muse about such journeys, where connections and experiences bring us full circle, as we return to where we began, and then sense even more out there and within, than ever first realized...
So, when then reflecting on the whole of this small Summit Stone's journey, and the smiles all around, I gently placed it yet once more out upon the island where it was firstly found.
Forever moments within a full circle, never ending journeys it would seem, for I hope you yourself might now be the Finder, of this gift passed forward so many times..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to those wonderful Partners In Placing who journey so far and so very high, sharing in the smiles all along their paths & trails.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"I Don't Know What Height I'll Be At..."

Within our climbing, among our forever adventure seasons, we all will eventually encounter our own mountain among mountains...
Such a definition reflects what that elusive summit means for us, and presents to us - be it the altitude, the route, the objective hazards, the subjective challenges, for companions, certain skills, long days out among even longer hours...
These are all then accepted as the price we each will individually choose to pay for our desired adventure experience.
This particular mountain for me, is about all these things, and more...
At my age, I have pondered much ahead of time that if these elements come together at a height that I have done all I possibly can, whatever the altitude may be, summit or no, then I want to still be very content with my efforts and quite happy with that outcome.
This is an elusive equation we all have to establish for ourselves...
Then, when upon this mountain of my mountains, in the very midst of such efforts, I have mused how I will not know what height I may be at - yet I will know I've given my all. I will be sure of fulfilling my intentions & commitment. I will feel I have done everything I can. Having reached deeper inside as Outward Bound taught me to, knowing that there is always more within than we ever first realize...
I truly believe that such perspectives very much fuel our motivations to then keep going. Returning again, and again, and again.
So, at whatever high point, summit or no, I've said to myself, if I am not able to carry on, nearing where I need to determine the turn back time for a safe descent - when I look back from that juncture, to all the planning, preparation, training, and practice, over the whole journey - I will still be a very happy adventurer.
An elusive, but very important equation we all eventually have to determine for ourselves..... DSD

Sunday, July 14, 2013

"The Story Within His Pictures..."

At first glance, he seemed rather out of breath and not in the best shape too, which translated into also being much slower of pace. Our first encounter on that mountain was brief in some ways but lasting for both our memories.
It was later mid-day.
I was descending that challenging scramble route, now having climbed this favourite peak for a third time. I could see him on his ascent, likely long before he noticed me, as his head was mostly down and his pace quite laboured.
We were both on a solo adventure day out, so each of us smiled when we met, glad for a chance meeting on a distant ridgeline. While out of breath, he was very enthusiastic, asking about the route, and then telling me how this mountain had become a distinct goal for him...
He asked me to take a picture with his camera too, and broke into a huge smile as I did so. We chatted longer than I had expected and shared a few snacks. It greatly intrigued me how he was able to put his objectives, wants, and adventure desires into words of such detail, even though being a person of novice experience.
Just as we were about to depart on our own ways, I passed a Summit Stone forward to him. I thought it might serve as a bit of encouragement, which may go a long ways for all of us at times, and also as we both knew, he wouldn't be gaining the summit that day out...
But it was my sense that he just might return to that mountain - it is hard to keep an inspired, enthusiastic adventurer from their dreams.
Our second meeting was on the trail to his chosen mountain, with me returning from another nearby peak. He was coming back also after not attaining his summit, but having made it somewhat farther up the mountain and further along in his journey.
We shared some laughs once again and our tales of what adventures we each had enjoyed since our last time together. I took another picture of him with his camera and could see as I framed it, that he was looking very different at this point... There was still that grand engaging smile, yet there was also now there a person of more confidence, and in better shape too. When he showed me the Summit Stone I had given him some seasons back, I was quite surprised and humbled that he was actually carrying it.
It seems that little cobblestone in his hand had become something of a touchstone of encouragement for him, towards his goal of finally being up on that elusive chosen summit.
On our third get together, it was not by chance this time, as we had been corresponding some now. We knew each would both be in that area around a certain time. I was only going up to the pass there, which is the beginning of the scramble route upon his mountain. It was a day for gazing & musing, and pondering while writing. I wasn't sure we would meet, but later in the day recognized a familiar form on the descent.
He had made it!
The smile was even wider, the enthusiasms even more expansive. We shared a hug and some tears of joy, on his face reflecting the completion of his journey, and on mine as I so get caught up in another's emotions on such adventures. After a bit of rest and some water, even more excited conversation and snacks, he said he wanted to show me something. Out came those pictures I had taken during our last encounters. Then out came that little Summit Stone too. The pictures told the story of the seasons of himself on that journey. They also showed images of the adventurer he was clearly becoming within his quest...
He is in much better shape by far than me now, his pace assured, steadfast, and sustained. The mountains he is choosing now too have challenges second to none.
I was told back then that a small stone and a bit of encouragement had gone a long ways.
Thank you, my Friend, for allowing me to be a stepping stone within your journey, and I am so very grateful to have met you..... DSD

My appreciation for sharing your own images here my Friends, which tell their stories too of elusive mountains and our dreams for climbing them.

Friday, July 12, 2013

"Of Listening..."

"Two voices are there; one is of the sea, one is of the mountains".  Wordsworth
"We climb to hear - whispered in the wind, echoed in the stars - strains of that mysterious music".  E. Bernbaum
"I heard nothing except the music that had seemed to accompany me throughout my climb".  R. Messner
"On this sun-consumed rock pile, eternity is trying to speak - no, sing to me".  R. Schultheis
"Listen... Listen to the songs of the mountains; the songs of the forests and the river... Then listen more closely, for you may see that it is you that has been singing".  Grandfather, Mountain Elder

It always seems to be, when now adventuring and wandering, intentionally slowing my steps, I am listening more quietly and closely, for both the meanings of the words within these wonderful quotes, then too for the songs and echoes from so far out in the wild places..... DSD

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"To Sing....."

"If we approach wild country with an open frame of mind... It can bestow not only the gift of understanding, but also some sort of expansion of the spirit. A lifting up, a strengthening, an enthusiasm. And later, perhaps, it can teach us to sing...".  D. Pitt-Brooke
Time to listen quietly for some distant music..... DSD

Sunday, July 07, 2013

"Tones Atop A Lone Summit..."

It is a small meditation bell, not really a traditional gong, given to me a very long time ago as a special gesture. I have always appreciated the unique note it makes when gently struck, and then the long lingering resonations of the harmonious sound...
I have been meditating since my early teenage years. It is a practice that has taken on many varied forms, different modulations in how it is expressed in my life. At times it is simply for the enduring practice itself, other moments to settle down the vertigo I experience, or the restless legs I always have.
My intention that adventure day though, up on that isolated secluded summit, was to hike and climb, then to muse and meditate, but also to strike another tone, a different pitch of music - one that just seemed to fit, to be in accord with and very suited for up there...
When we climb we join with a mountain.
We become part of those heights, the elements, the forces that created those places, even the vistas and also the very sounds. These combine with our internal tones too, with our efforts, and then all blend into the harmony of those high mountain energies.
We deeply experience the coherent hues of our surroundings, the accents of our climbing movements, among all the colors, light, and luminosity. The tint and shades of shadows are reflected then within our own emotions, sentiments, and then memories...
It was all of this I felt when I gently struck that little bell, up in that uninhabited, infrequently visited, solitary high place.
A lone summit, where this one sound fit in so well, its' unique music resonating, reverberating out as a meditative tone would.
A poetic time of sound, adventure, and feelings, creating a composition for a forever moment of mind and body.
A simple tone atop a lone summit..... DSD

My gratitude for sharing your images once again with us all my Friends.

Friday, July 05, 2013

"To Be As....."

We who adventure...
We seek and we quest, we wander and we journey.
So very far, up so high, for long enduring awe filled days.
Then we each seem to discover, the forever moments far beyond the elements, within our adventures way, way out there.
These, then, also become wonderous treasures within...
To be truly among the elements, is to become elemental ourselves.
To be as...
Resilient as stone and rock.
Enduring as the endless ocean waves.
Forever committed as the sun.
Persistent as all the winds.
To be as...
Wise and knowing as desert canyons.
Eternally strong as the glacial ice.
Quietly reflective as our campfires.
Lively energetic as the wild ones.
To be as...
Flexible as any winding river.
As far seeing as our chosen mountain summit.
Open and welcoming as a coastal island.
Sustaining as our northern lakes.
To be as...
Beautifully enlightened as the flickering stars.
Forever sharing as the revealing moonlight.
And as giving as the essence discovered within each and every wild place..... DSD

Dedicated to you all my Dear wandering Friends, and to my so appreciated Partners In Placing who pass forward many smiles along the way.