Sunday, February 23, 2014

"An Ancient Custom..."

Mountaineers have often had a custom of passing forward small mementos for positive attitude and memories of altitude along to others - as have many other adventurers of all elements and terrain I have met out there.
Many years ago, I also became aware of a similar manner of doing things like this from one of our Outward Bound Instructors.
Such ways of behaving, of giving, often have their wonderful origins shrouded in much history, mystery, and mists...
They seem to evolve from practices and performances based on accumulated experience of what works well. From ways and means by which we celebrate moments like these, and from within the intense rites & emotions that result.
Customs like these are traditions handed down from one to another, in the belief that such transference carries real meaning. We want to share with others a certain something, even a small symbol, for what has touched us deeply when so far out there...
Our Outward Bound Leader said it was an old, likely ancient custom, among the adventure Mentors he knew, his own past course Instructors, and other wilderness Guides embraced all along the way.
What he passed forward that day was a very old compass.
It was up to the group who was to receive it. We chose one who seemingly started as our weakest member, but then became our best navigator.
The symbolism of that compass, that key to journeying among the elements, was not lost on us...
The metaphorical, even mystical aspects of finding ones' way, held great importance for the young and eager new adventurers we were to become.
I could see in the eyes, of both the one who passed forward that old compass, and also the one who received the gift, about the depth of meaning this ancient custom had created in those moments.
This taught us all something none would likely ever forget - old, ancient customs... Then new traditions and inspirations..... DSD

Dedicated to Outward Bound

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