Sunday, September 28, 2014

"In The Quiet..."

"After a long day of walking in the mountains, the ancients sat alone and in the quiet...".  Deng Ming-Dao

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Now calm and vividly remembering,
Every single step of our long journey.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
For a very challenging mountain had been chosen,
Knowing we would then embrace all then wildly given.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Atop the summit of a further elusive mountain,
Being present for all of that which has happened.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
After a descent as challenging too,
Then so tired, and now safe as well.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Amazingly welcoming was that mountain,
With such adversity and then those teachings.

In the stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Having shared in those many precious gifts,
Meditative forever moments nourishing our very being... DSD

Dedicated to those wonderful wanderers who are out there still, Adventuring For Another Reason. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

"Being An Adventurer..."

"Being an adventurer is in your state of mind which is not bound by age, performance, or place in the pack...".  Anon

"The Real End..."

"In a journey, we discover for ourselves, that day by day, the total distance travelled is less important than the experience we gain. The real end is the journey...".  Anon

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Those Were To Be Some Of My Greatest Summits..."

We were journeying over very high mountains on yet another Outward Bound course. But it seemed that many of my greatest challenges were to be some figurative summits too...
Outward Bound Leaders can be quite directive, like when it comes to safety practices. They can also be very gentle, as when it reflects more personal observations and feedback.
This is all inherent to the amazing Outward Bound experience. Where the mountains, ocean, lakes, storms, and all the elements; along with each other, and our Outward Bound Instructors experienced mentorship - then blends in together and guides us so much farther along the way.
I wrote in my journal a lot while out there.
One day, one very long day, out upon a seemingly endless ridgeline, my own challenges got the better of me in certain moments.
It was then later, amidst that day of persistent adversities, when I was resting. Drawing a bit in my journal as well. Likely to both try and more enjoy the moment and vista before me, yet also to take my mind off other things - when both our Outward Bound Leaders approached me.
They commented on my scratchings, then while chatting, they further invited me to make a few notes about perceptions and choices...
It was they who gently pointed out that some of the real summits before me, may not be the rocky peaks way up above.
Rather, they said, at times it seemed like I tended to see things from the way I think they should be, rather than the way they are; or see what's wrong instead of what's right; what is not there versus what actually is; what I don't want or have instead instead of what I actually do.
Very gentle invitations, within quite discussions, resulting in powerful shifts of perception...
So grateful am I for their pointing up towards what were some of my most elusive yet greatest summits.
They were right back then, and now when I navigate similiar terrain, their words forever echo still..... DSD 

"Gifts Within Adversity & Challenge..."

P. Stoltz & E. Weihenmayer said of these gifts: "May adversity become the pathway through which you flourish."
S. Covey wrote also; "One key lesson is this: no challenge and adversity, no deeper sense of meaning and purpose."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"A Magic Wand..."

"The waving of a pine tree upon a mountain - a magic wand in Nature's hand...".   J. Muir

"Water Music..."

"How delightful the water music - the deep bass tones of the fall, the clashing river spray, and infinite variety of small tones of the current gliding past, and glinting against a thousand smaller stones...".   J. Muir

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Tidal Musings....."


There have been many moments where I have found myself just watching the tide slowly go out... While beach hiking, searching for cobblestones, and especially at the end of sea kayak trips out there. This time is so special... It allows for gently reflecting on the adventure days and nights just passed... For remembering the many preparations over how we get there, the visualization and all the efforts to journey to this point in time... For pondering the challenges offered to me, many accepted, some not this last days... For just musing over each of these moments, especially the unexpected ones, like the range of emotions the wild places affords each of us...
Then I just pause and quietly watch the ebb and flow of the tide and waves easing in and drifting back out...
I muse over what wonders I have seen... they are always there, I just need to open my eyes a bit more. These moments are for pondering too about why I came again, even when the elements may not have been agreeable.
I remember... sitting just so and thinking about all the seasons, the years gone by... the special times shared, the intense solo experiences, the many sea shores...
I remember... those feelings of excitement before a challenge, at times the anxiety during the course of some adventures, the sense of completion and accomplishment and even a bit of relief sometimes...
This is a time especially for reflecting upon that sense of contentment after those special goals, within that tiredness from well earned efforts, and the price of admission agreed upon and paid out there...
When quietly watching the tide ebb away I experience again the joy of seeing the sun glinting as jewels thrown upon the water as I have posted about before. The waves can be so meditative with their gentle mantra moving slowly across the sand and rocks...
You may see many things on a beach that couldn't be seen before as the tide ebbs away... just as we may now see with new eyes after very challenging adventure experiences.
And that is a lot to get out of the simple observation of the ebb and flow of our lives out there...
So, after some challenging days back here and those of an island kayak adventure day out there, I am just watching the tide go out and sharing the moment with you..... DSD 

"Musings From The Beach..."

Hiking on such secluded beaches, writing so many ponderings in the sand. Words about wild places we have experienced, notes for ourselves about being here, and then where we now want to journey... Stories in the sand of who it is we each want to become in those moments. All ways to beach scribe, to journal in such a wonderful way... Another means for envisioning our adventures, while gazing out upon both the waves and such sandy musings in time. Now while standing very still, and looking out over oceans of dreams and desires, seeing our scribblings once more in the sand, being caressed and moved by the winds gentle breezes. These ephemeral ponderings become hopes for our wanderings yet to come. Now we are listening more closely, to the murmurs of the waves, for they also respond to our words and their echoes. Long coastal beach hiking adventures, with sandy words that now become paths and trails, they speak aloud of the potential and promises we feel, so very deep in our hearts out there..... DSD

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"Endless Canyons..."

"It was in the sublime depths of this stony domain that ancient canyon dwellers, explorers, surveyors, and river runners helped define the modern concept of canyoneering. And it was from this canyon realm that I gleaned lessons and perspectives...". J. Annerino

Gazing, always gazing, forward towards further, forever moments, out among those endless canyons... DSD

"Hidden And Awaiting..."

There are many hidden valleys out there... waiting... just waiting...
I am sure some hardly ever see the shadow of a human fall within them; hardly ever hear the breathing of a person among them...
Many such hidden places only the feathered and the four legged ones know about...
It was on a solo, just off the regular trail, while hand-railing a small alpine lake, that I was to enjoy the serendipity of discovering the remnants of a very old trail heading subtly north off into the trees...
It wouldn't have even been noticed if I hadn't stopped at just that spot to adjust my pack again as it often shifts about as if it has a mind of its own...
"I wonder...", are two words which have led me out both on amazing unplanned adventures and epics as well. I pondered these words again in my mind... and then just stepped out and started to follow where this musing and that trail might take me...
It was a very old trail; after an hour it only led to what seemed to be a narrowed section where two rock bands met and embraced each other... I 'wondered' again, and after some struggling with scree and scrub, made my way up and through this stony cleft... The trees beyond only thickened further, but after just a bit more persistent bushwacking, the rock dropped away... and a small hidden valley opened up...
There are times out there that brand an image within our minds as any tattoo upon the skin - so memorable, so vivid are they...
I wandered about there for hours... For such a small place there was much to explore... Trees to gaze upon, a small stream to listen to, polished rock to hold, lichen to wonder over, high cliffs on all sides to look up at, and tracks to study...
That was a very special day of wandering and wonderment... of simple exploring and enjoying... of reflecting upon summits and secrets and musings among that little hidden valley...
I have yet to return to that secret place... part of me kind of hopes no one else has discovered it since; but I am sure someone has. On those quiet reflective evenings, I wonder again if that old snow ever really melts in there, I ponder how much growth has taken place, and what flowers are out this season... I wonder too if that ages old cairn I found still exists, and I smile as I think of the little surprise I placed there...
And then I begin planning to return to that special hidden valley... There are many of them out there waiting still..... DSD

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

"It Was Alive..."

"The sun was trembling now on the edge of the ridge. It was alive, almost fluid and pulsating... And as I watched it sink I thought that I could feel the earth turning from it, actually feel its rotation. Over all was the silence of the wilderness, that sense of oneness which comes only when there are no distracting sights or sounds, when we listen with inward ears and see with inward eyes, when we feel and are aware with our entire beings rather than our senses. I thought as I sat there of the ancient admonition, 'Be still...', and knew that without stillness there can be no knowing...".  S. Olson

"We Live For It..."

"The vision comes and goes... But I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack...".  A. Dillard