Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Nearing The End Of This Year's Trails..."

"We shall not cease from exploration and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know it for the first time...". T.S. Elliot
That adventure day by the sea, when I could sense the end of the trail approaching, there was that deep emotion of contentment, and yet a gentle tired kind of sadness as well.
I recognize we all experience this occasionally. 
When we each attain a really elusive adventure goal out there, with all of those so special celebratory emotions. Then at times we sense upon completion a touch of those other feelings of, 'Oh, Its over'...
Pretty natural it seems, to truly experience both, when we invest ourselves so intensely and purposefully within our journeys.
So, I did what we wanderers often do and pondered this a bit, while allowing myself to experience all those musings and emotions all at the same time. 
Then much later, as I rested upon a further mountain, after having had that similar summit rush of these sensations, I reminded myself of that very old saying, 'that when one trail seems to end, another path always opens up'.
I reflected too on another old saying that, 'while we may shed a tear about such an experience being over, we can clearly smile as well for having lived those forever moments'.
There are many manifestations of these wise and wild old ponderings.
So, then, if we keep ourselves open to what is always out there on the horizon; if we accept that there is always more within us than ever first realized; if we blend with the truths that there is never an end to the creation of amazing memories, possible connections, and shared wonderful stories - then our trails will forever keep on going so much farther, higher, upward, onward, and inward...
Seeming endings always then become new beginnings and as Muir reminds us as well, "This grand show is eternal... It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in turn, as the round earth rolls". 
Happy endless end of the year trails to all of you my Friends.....DSD   

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Holiday 'What If' Wishes For You All Dear Friends..."

"What if our spiritual beliefs were for each other. If our practice was our life. If our prayer or mantras were our potent words. What if our temple was the earth. If the forests were our church. If holy water was our lakes, rivers, and oceans. What if our meditations were upon our relationships. If the teacher was life. If true wisdom was from self-knowledge. If love was the very center of our being...".  G. White

There is so much adventure potential in keeping our perceptions as open minded as the terrain we cross. There is as much potential too in developing sustained ways to ponder about the possibilities out there. Adventurers are no different it seems in how we may limit ourselves to only certain trails, routes, or experiences, by how we see things and frame things in our minds. I've written here before about my Outward Bound experiences and how they revealed to us there is so much more within us than we may ever first realize...
Often that Outward Bound catalyst came from within the experiences themselves, yet just as many times from the quiet words of wisdom our Leaders shared with us each time out. One adventure concept of theirs was the "What If's", and is one that resonated with me back then and still echoes out strongly to this very day. "What If", they quietly asked at the end of our climbs and trails, then later at the end of our course, what if instead of this being an ending, you are really just getting going... What if, rather than this experience being over, this is really only a beginning for you... 
What if too, they asked, that any setbacks are really steps in the direction of fulfilling your adventure dreams. What if, they inquired, that the hard earned lessons, the trials and adversity - are all really part of what we are seeking anyway. What if, they pondered, that regardless of weather, injury, age, or infirmity, we are just starting out upon other ways of wandering further, farther, higher, and even more inward...
Such was the trail of perception that was revealed way back then to me, and still is as well after so many years of journeys out there. All along the way, time and time again, their subtle reminder would echo once more about possibility and potential, and about the potency and power of 'What If's'..... DSD   

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"The Gift Of Experiences....."

Most of us bestow things upon one another during this season of giving. 
I have often mused, and written about here, over the nature of another kind of offering. This is a deeper kind of present for another, or as an endowment maybe for ourselves, which holds out such potent and significant meanings.
What you felt so strongly during that river rafting trip; recall the energy and emotions when out on those trails of your favorite hikes; think for a moment about when you were sea kayaking to that coastal island you were sure no one had ever set foot upon.
Feel again those same sensations, that enchanting sense of wonder, when you attained that very first summit; go back and relive that special time when a certain spirit animal appeared in the trees before you, just when you needed it so.
All of these knowings, and so many more from out there, are the gifts of adventure experiences. These are the gifts that the wild places wrap up for each of us, that we give ourselves too when we head out, that we also present to others in so many shared ways - the gift of experiences...
So, remember too, that canyoneering day when you pushed so hard to get beyond yourself; that very long rappel into the the mists so memorable; the times lowering into the depths of those caves so dark and yet so illuminating. All are also such potent and powerful gifts of experiences.
We do give one another, and ourselves, such nice things at times - yet a gift of experience holds another level of enduring beauty within it.
That which we experience out there, and then weave into our experiences back here, are truly meaningful offerings - of smiles and laughter, of challenges and effort, of sunshine and tears - these are bestowed upon us through journeys within the wild places.
They become branded in our memories; they touch us in our very hearts; and they are always there to further inspire our spirits.
Such life defining moments we meet with and undergo out there, regardless of when solo or those shared in fellowship, is what is really at the end of any rainbow. Then if we pass forward these adventure experiences, they then become a gift twice given.
And that is a beautiful experience too.
So, in the spirit of this season of sharing and giving, do I wish for you Dear Friends, Dear Finders, that the gift of experiences becomes a bountiful cherished present within your lives..... DSD    

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Each And Every Time A Gift..."

Each and every time out there is a gift,
Amazingly beautiful gifts within our journeys,
Every journey holds gems hidden within,
Hidden only though at the very first...
From the first time there are always endless wonders,
True wonders discovered as we long and far wander,
Our wandering adventures then become forever longings,
Forever moments from seemingly only simple steps.
Every step then a dearly and cherished memory,
Then all such memories are truly a gift..... DSD 

Dedicated this adventure day to all those wonderful wanderers who are'Adventuring For Another Reason' .    

"The Heart That Gives..."

"The heart that gives, gathers...". Tao Te Ching  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

"Farther Gifts Within Our Wild Places..."

"We were two men in a land of stone and we walked toward the same star... 
That... was the gift of our mountains". G. Rebuffat

Stones and stars,
Rock and sky,
Wind and waves,
Wild wonders to ponder,
Elemental gifts while we wander...

"Of What We Get, Then Of What We Give..."

"We make a living by what we get... We make a life by what we give...". W.S. Churchill

Dedicated this adventure day, within our shared season of giving, to those Partners In Placing who pass forward smiles all along the way... DSD  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"What Gifts They Are..."

I found a descriptive truth high upon a mountain...
Where that summit also shared even more about this subtly amazing promise.
Then a further quiet truth was later discovered as well too.
In a far desert canyon, so very deep and dark.
On an ancient trail these beliefs were genuinely proven. 
Through honour, virtue, and encouragement positively given.
This same truth was revealed yet once more again.
Among distant islands embraced by a trustful ocean.
There are many truisms we adventurers surely uncover.
Such trustworthy maxims and associations that simply cannot be denied.
Our own truths become known in so many ways.
What gifts they are...
Seemingly hidden until that real trust is finally made. 
Then, when, wandering further and onward, amidst each and every step.
With such enduring hearts, beliefs, spirit, commitment & dedication - our journey for truths then actually becomes revealed and never forgotten..... DSD    

"The Gift Of The Mountains..."

"A climber ascends, descends, and traverses... References are lost. Yet the strangeness somehow is a match of the climbers inner existence. The mountain is a gift and is the color of places the climber knows, and doesn't know, and finds sacred, and can't quite get to, as with truth and with dreams...".  P. Ament

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Your Muse's Gift....."

"The adventure of a mystery... Your adventure muse has her ways, she hides from you, comes to you in the middle of the night, at midday, at dawn... An elusive gift that can appear anytime...". M. Hart   

"When The Giver Is Thankful..."

"It is written even still... that the giver should be thankful; only then is it a sharing... Somebody accepted you through your gift...". Osho
"In becoming a giver... we establish an affinity with all creatures in the world...". Dogen
My sincere gratitude to you all Dear Finders, and Partners In Placing , for your having allowed me to gift you with a small Summit Stone..... DSD     

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Be Well Dear Friends, Be Well....."

A simple saying discovered while distant wandering resonates nicely for this time of year...
'Be well my friends, be well...'
In this time of celebrations, connections, and fun,
During a season that may, like adventures, both invite us and also challenge us,
In the midst of our shared holiday spirits,
Be well...
As we remember to focus on what is truly important,
Even as so much grasps for our attention,
If the pace gets more than a bit hectic, as when that storm rolled in off of the ocean, or those winds whipped up across that lake,
Pause for your moments, like you did on that elusive summit,
And be well...
Recall your amazing adventure experiences these last twelve months,
Draw upon those many wonderful wild place moments these past four seasons,
Breath them all in again as you share laughter and love with family, friends, and fellows,
And be well my Friends, be well Dear Finders,
Be well..... DSD   

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Beyond The Last Blue Mountain..."

"The acid test of a true adventurer, if presented with certain anonymity, is whether each of us would still have made the journey beyond the last blue mountain...". M. Clark  

"December 11th International Mountains Day..."

"What you do on your own scale for your own soul is all that matters... Walking skillfully along the top of the world we may receive a priceless vista of our lives and that which is truly important to us...".  J. Salz  

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Little Rock Gifts..."

Rock painting is an ancient practice of placing images upon stone.
The strength and durability of the stone was said to add to the power and presence of the paintings...
Aboriginal peoples on many continents have also colored and painted stones as gifts, rocks as markers, and rock walls as a means to record their histories.
At times it was the character of the stone itself that would also influence the eventual image that appeared. 
The paints themselves were often made of water and clay, berries, selected soils, animal fats, even blood. Some rock was also etched and then painted to enhance the chosen image with more than one dimension...
After collecting these little rocks on many adventures, cleaning and polishing them, musing over the stone, I now splash a bit of paint upon them, and then give them back.
Just my own simple way of passing forward and yet being a tiny part of an ancient past ritual...  DSD   

"All Are Gifts....."

"The first pale light of dawn... Stars are still out, the sky barely blushes with a hint of color. Hills, trees, grasses stand quietly in silhouette. Fresh smells of early morning arrive clean from the night wind, moist with dew. Presents from the night, presents of spaciousness, presents of the open sky. All these are gifts...".  S. Kaza  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"One Of Nature's Most Thoughtful Gifts..."

"The companionship of animals is one of nature's most thoughtful gifts...".  J. Muir

"We Adventurers Do Indeed Listen, Sing, Hum, Whisper, Even Carol..."

We adventurers do indeed listen, sing, hum, whisper, even Carol ...

"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   

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

"So Many Gifts..."

"Climbing... offers a wide canvas upon which to paint adventures... the mind is working, the body is working, and the spirit is working to get up this puzzling piece of rock. The same elements, I have found, exist in running rivers... tell of magic in that moving water, and its many gifts: gifts of beauty and adventure, of battle and achievement, gifts of joy and skill, of the pride of mastery, gifts of solo endeavour and of rich companionship." R.Robbins

So well said and such truths to be found in these many gifts... What shall we each paint next...

"The Poem Forest's Dad Wrote For Him..."

Forest grew up in the mountains, and his dad wrote this poem for him when he was born...

"The Important Places"
Child of mine
come as you grow
in youth you will learn the secret places
the cave behind the waterfall
the arms of the oak that hold you high
the stars so near on a desert ledge
the important places
and as with age you choose your own way
among the many faces of a busy world
may you always remember the path that leads back
back to the important places.

Dad for Forest, 1986
What a beautiful gift then shared with us all.....

Sunday, December 06, 2015

"Light In A Distant Tent..."

It was after such long days, during those very shorter hours of sunlight too.
Even further distances to cover, both of an outer and an inner nature.
Strong winds over so much frozen terrain.
Chills of temperature and in some experiences as well.
Then easing into the gentler, forever falling flakes of snow.
As the evening then dimmed once more while out upon that adventure.

Our many farther enjoyments would crystallize later.
For we were so very, yet happily tired.
All of these lasting memories and potent moments still mixing in together for us.
But for now, there was a need for simple movement forward.

Forward and still further, onward and and downward.
The goal right then was just to be consistent.
To finish what had long ago been started.
To return to where it began, safe, and then for contentments.

And then... And then...

There it is. Real it was.

A warm symbol of completion.
A comforting sense of wonder and rest.
A simple light.
In a distant tent.....  DSD  

Image Acknowledgement  

Saturday, December 05, 2015

"Musing About Gifts..."

"Memories are perhaps the best gifts of all...". G. Gaither    

"A Caroling We Go..."

"Do you hear what I hear....." 

Friday, December 04, 2015

"More Alike Than Not..."

To have those people in our lives is so profoundly special. Our mountain Mentors, wild place Guides, and heroes too - whose experience, enthusiasm, wisdom, and perceptions become such examples for possible wonders for us to reach out and up for...
Yet, just as often, I am reminded that even with all their adventure achievements and heights attained, our wild place Mentors all started their outdoor lives on the valley floor as well. They all started their climbs towards personal goals as low as we each have.
Those we admire had humble beginnings much like ours. 
We aspire to be so like them, and we are in many ways, because we all began down here. We all have shared in those lower levels of inexperience, and within the challenges of being a novice as well.
We are more alike than not.
We share in so much more than we ever may first realize.
They have gone so very far, been up so amazingly high, went for such long enduring distances too. And now they knowingly look back, and wonderfully encourage us on, as we set out on our own courses and bearings...
More is being shared here than the summits of our own adventure experiences. 
To keep on going together in order to attain such meaningful wild place experiences, it can be important to gently realize, that we all start low..... DSD    

Image Acknowledgement    

Thursday, December 03, 2015

"A Little Story..."

"Some places in this world are very hard to climb.
Sometimes people ask animals to help them with this.
Each person can only ride one.
And each animal likely has a different name.
The riders go up the trail in different orders.
They often discuss their various opinions about their experiences.
They may even have conflicting opinions.
At the summit the travelers all stand in the same place.
Each of them has the same chance to view the same vistas.
The animals are then put to rest and graze.
We all travel such paths.
The animals are like the various doctrines that each of us embraces.
What does it matter which doctrine we embrace as long as it leads to the same quiet summit...".
D. Ming-Dao

Image Acknowledgement  

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

"The Magic Of Awe & Wonder..."

"Every time I went up there, a kind of magic happened to me: I felt a nameless wildness flow into me, a strangely serene longing for tundras, unbroken forests, rivers and mountains without end... I changed, into a benign kind of lycanthropy...".   R. Schultheis
"It was indeed magic to find that the initial commitment and inner strength can bring you back down alive in the midst of such an undertaking...".   J. Waterman
"The waving of a pine tree upon a mountain - a magic wand in Nature's hand...".   J. Muir
"Climbing... offers a wise canvas upon which to paint adventures. The mind is working, the body is working, and the spirit is working to get up this puzzling piece of rock. The same elements, I have found, exist in running rivers... tell of magic in that moving water, and its many gifts. Gifts of beauty and adventure, of battle and achievement, gifts of joy and skill, of the pride of mastery, gifts of solo endeavour, and of rich companionship...".   R. Robbins
"What made it incredibly tantalizing was that It, the magic, was somewhere inside me. It had always been there... waiting to be awakened...".   R. Schultheis
"Magic, as I am using the term, is a sudden opening of the mind to that wonder of experience. It is a sense that there is much more to life than we usually recognize; that we do not have to be confined by the limited views that our family, our society, or our own habitual thoughts impose upon us; that life contains many dimensions, depths, textures, and meanings far beyond our familiar beliefs and concepts."   J. Welwood

From within my musings around the flickering campfires out there, to the ponderings by the ancient hearthstones back here, thoughts begin to take shape about how we all sense the wondering importance of the magic of our wanderings...
As in the quotes above, we read and write such words quietly as we know of the elusiveness of alchemy. 
We each speak softly of these elements as we have experienced their ephemeral spells.
Adventurers seek out our magics among the mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, coastlines and canyons. 
We quest through these journeys to embrace the conjuring mysteries and the sorcery within these wild place moments. 
Because we know as we sit by the warm hearthstones; we know these whisperings about such beautiful, natural magic...
Are all true..... DSD  

Image Acknowledgement