Friday, October 20, 2017

"One Of Our Secrets..."

"Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot.
A mile becomes a long way,
two miles literally considerable,
ten miles whopping, 
fifty miles at the limits of conception.
The world, you realize, is enormous in a way
that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know.
Planetary scale is your little secret...".
Bill Bryson


Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Listening..."

"Listen... 
Listen to the songs of the oceans and mountains, the songs of the forests and the rivers. 
Then listen more closely. 
For you may see that it is you that has been singing...". 
Grandfather, Mountain Elder

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Watch For The Stars..."

"Dwell on the beauty of life.
Watch for the stars.
And see yourself running with them.
Marcus Aurelius


Sunday, October 15, 2017

"Of Seeing..."

"The real voyage of discovery consists not only in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes...".  M. Proust

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Look Up And Dream..."

"The Greeks pondered the causes of things. If you had asked them, 'Why are there mountains' they'd give you four causes. The Material cause is the ground has the potential to become a mountain. The Efficient cause is that mountains are just elevated earth standing up. The Formal cause is the earth raised them up. But the Final cause is where it gets interesting. They'd say the Final cause of mountains is they exist because humans need to look up and dream..."
"I've always been fascinated by the why . You know, the oldest questions in the world...". J. Auld   

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"A Favorite Story..."

Some time back, Kraig at 'The Adventure Blog' posted about: Video: A Story For Tomorrow , I was intrigued, then so very inspired... 
Here was a very powerful video story of two young adventurers and their journey through Chile, from the Atacama Desert in the north, to the mountains of Patagonia in the south. The images are amazing, the music so very engaging, the voice of the narrator so inviting. 
These few quotes resonated and echoed out each time I played this:
"A long, long time ago, there where two people who looked very much like yourselves, and as with you, they were on a journey, a quest if you will, to find what we all seem to be searching for. For reasons they may never know... They entered... A place where time and direction don't exist. Yet they still pressed on... Each day a new door, a new direction, a new way to be... Until time simply faded away. As with all those who have come before you... They only found me - their future, quietly waiting, and I asked them the same two questions I will some day ask you: Is it possible to be happy with this life? And then I will ask as I do to everyone else: Did you enjoy your story?" 
My thanks again to Kraig for this special past post, and our gratitude for this gift from these two young adventurers at Gnarly Bay, who shared about their wonderful wanderings... 
Please visit and enjoy: http://vimeo.com/36519586 ..... DSD  

Sunday, October 08, 2017

"Of Thanksgiving..."

Let's all take a few moments, to simply reflect upon our appreciations, and the gratitude we each have, for having one another in our lives.
A thanksgiving homage for all of you my Friends.

"Deeper Within Our Moments..."

Back in those initial moments,
During all of that intensive preparation.
We each dreamed of eventually being on our way,
Towards a longed for journey of adventure - and then we began...
Up there in those unfolding moments,
Upon that long winding ridgeline,
Over rock we were not sure of,
We felt there would be so much energy and excitement - and there clearly was...
Amidst those very challenging moments,
Throughout the route, and then the crux of this chosen mountain.
We thought there would be those engaging sensations of such focus and concentration - and there certainly were...
Then deep within those forever moments,
Finally upon our so elusive summit.
Within that calmness of winds, clouds, and perceptions,
We hoped for those gentle emotions of contentment and connection - and now there always will be..... DSD 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

"Enduring Silence..."

"Much silence has a mighty noise...". Swahili Proverb
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear...". Ram Dass
There are many voices being raised far out there. 
The one voice we each need to hear. The many voices of the most most vulnerable ones.
Often the quietest one, is that which speaks from within such silence.
Nature and our Mother Earth are a silently powerful, yet vulnerable, entity that also must be heard.
Wild place adventures embrace a silence that must be listened closely for too.
Why is our quiet time of musing in nature of such value?
Pythagoras said, "Learn to be silent. Let your mind listen and absorb".
When we wonder in this way, we come closer to discovering our motives; our own personal why's.
When we ponder such, we begin to then create meaning.
These become the very essence for our motivation - for why we go, and for what we do out in the wild places.
Then in understanding what as Nietzsche wrote, "Our greatest experiences, are our quietest moments".
We will then stand up for, and protect, that which we see as important and at the foundation of our intentions and meanings.
All of this provides us with a sense of true purpose.
And that is much to gain from the silence of a quiet moment of musing out there.
A silence that must be heard..... DSD 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

"Your Spirit Stone..."

From the very moment I saw it, in those minutes right when I gathered it up, that stone had a wonderful story to tell.
It is truly a beautiful rock, one whose form gives you a sense of its' ancient history. No way would it have been right there in that wild place; no way would it have been as shaped and as polished so finely - unless its motions over the millenia, among all those boulders, from within a nearby glacier, had taken it on its' own timeless journey. 
From the very moment I turned it over and over in my hand, I was beginning to envision what this stone's essence would express. You could sense from its' shape, from the lines upon and within it, from the small chips, even the tinier cracks, and especially from the smoothness over most of its' surface- what its' temperament, strength, and vigour was sharing.
Here, in my hand, was truly a spirit stone...
One whose character had endured all the elements had placed upon it. 
A stone's spirit is an essential thing, one I try to look so closely for and understand. Some have travelled so very far. Many have such unique virtue in the way they have survived the forces over so long that have attempted to break them. We adventurer's can identify dearly with these meanings. 
Right from the moment I gathered it up I felt I knew what this stone wanted to reveal. I sensed I knew where it wanted to be later placed. So right from where I found it as well, I gathered up small particles of every other element, to be 'mixed in' within the bright paints to be layered upon it. 
Now, in your hand, you may have this very stone. 
When I gathered it up I hoped you would find it. I hope too you sense the essence there, those wonderful intrinsic components that made it, the virtue reflecting where it has been, the meanings of the elements in the paints, and the symbolism hopefully it also represents from within your own adventures...
Like Ceremony Stones and Scholar Rocks , your Summit Stone has a spirit and a story all of its' own, always calling to your longings..... DSD

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Shan....."

"Shan: Mountain. 
The ancients believed that there was something called the mountain spirit...". 
Deng Ming-Dao  


Thanks To PebbleShoe for this echoing image.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Of Gratitude & Wonder..."

"Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder...".    G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Wonder Is A Natural State..."

"Wonder is a natural state.
One that we often lose track of,
if we become numb to life.
Since wonderment is the willingness,
to be surprised by life,
and gratitude springs from wonderment,
to practice gratefulness, 
we need to let life surprise us...".
M.J. Ryan


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"If We Would Be Humble Enough..."

"It is from the small things that the larger events of life are composed.
You may be capable of great things, but life consists of small things.
We must not fall into the trap of waiting so long for the big things, that we let numerous small chances slip right by us.
If we would look at this differently, we would see all the beautiful opportunities swirling at our feet.
If we would humble ourselves enough to bend down, we could scoop up untold treasures into our hands...".   
Deng Ming-Dao

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Of Callings..."

"If you are willing, and if you listen very gently and carefully, you will sense that this mysterious wisdom is ready to lead you, guide you to where you need to be. It is your wilderness calling." G. May

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Keep Going..."

Just when we don't think we can, we find our means to further go.
Just about that time when our breath seems gone, we then experience that which truly takes it away.
Around that time when the adversities appear overwhelming, we uncover moments of encouragement to keep on.
In those minutes when the storm almost overtakes us, we now turn into it and discover new strengths before unknown.
Many times when our adventure objectives feel to be beyond us, we then learn it is we ourselves who are the elusive ones. 
Then we begin to understand that there is always, always, more within us then we ever before first realized.
So, just when we might have given up, we sense what depths we really, truly, have deep inside.
Then, just when the trials seem to have drained away our commitment, we learn to appreciate what real endurance is all about.
Also, among those endless winds and waves, just when we think we can't, we start to uncover the ways we can.
And, just when we need it most, our partners always show us what real support and companionship truly is.
Then, once again too, just when we think we've experienced all we can out there, our wild place adventures gently remind us yet again, of awe and wonder, and we begin anew..... DSD 

Dedicated this fall too all those who keep going, as they 'Adventure For Another Reason'.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Normal Day....."

"Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you,
love you, bless you,
before you depart.
Let me not pass you by,
in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not always be so.
One day,
I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky,
and want,
more than all the world,
your return...".
M. J. Iron

Saturday, September 09, 2017

"An Elemental Nexus..."

The mist and fog we journey through is a special nexus of elements. Where air and moisture mix and blend, to create something so much more. We adventurer's so love the grand vistas out in the wild places, yet when they become gently misted and slowly blurred over, when the fog quietly rolls in with its surreal opaqueness, we seem to enjoy it all the better.
We each remember our own adventures, like drifting far in a sea kayak, then resting while listening for the breaking surf, as the fog rolls over both you and your vessel, blanketing everything in such soothing calm and yet building anticipations.
We recall as well, the settling thick mists and very dense fog among deep low forested valleys, where the shifting of these elements eventually hides everything - except the rock of that singularly elusive mountain we are climbing upon in those exact moments.
Finally, then standing upon your own 'island peak', set out higher than the misted sea of summits encompassing it and you. This is a truly unique adventure experience...
We remember too, the distinct stillness of those foggy northern lakes, and then the quieting of everything else, including our own heartbeat and minds, so that in the midst of such diminished views everything becomes so clear.
Simply air and moisture, then just the right temperature, all blending, melding, and mixing into a sentient element that embraces us, and then always whispers to each of us too as we wander far out there..... DSD 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

"Our Shared Tian..."

The cairns and registers we find upon mountain summits tell so many stories...
What we often discover there can be fun, historical, enlightening, and at times a real mystery of words and meaning up above those thousands of feet and more. I so enjoy pondering who wrote these things and what experiences may have prompted such musings. At times they have sent me off on other journeys too of looking to find the meanings of these notations. 

Here is what I've found out about two words written large, upon a single page, within the register of a favorite summit climbed again that past season.
They simply said: "Our Tian".
Now the oldest 'Tian' literature I discovered were references to certain kinds of 'Elders'. There was also a very interesting 'Treasure of Tian', which was said to be mysteriously hidden, yet somehow still available for us all. 
In my search for its possible earliest meanings I found that Tian seemed firstly to represent a 'summit' or 'mountaintop', but also interestingly refers to the top of our head and that which emanates from there. 
Depending upon which tome you muse over, Tian further reflects meanings of the weather & climate, sunrise & sunset, all of nature and the elements within, and what seems to be called the 'seven seasons'. Most intriguing for me are the Tians as stories of mystery, of the heavens and sky's, of that which is beyond human will, and of the celestial energy and spirit worlds both out there and within. These two words writ large were beginning to really engage my attention.
Tian is written about to also be an elemental but indescribable thing, the natural character of a being, something that reflects instinct too. It looks to originally be a Taoist or Confucianist reference. It is one of the oldest Chinese symbols that represents the cosmos, the heavens above us, and those hidden within us.
What a most interesting ancient phrase. What an intriguing high place to have found it.
I have returned many times to that same silent summit, and hopefully now too, I have come back with more of an understanding of what our fellow climber may have meant by writing "Our Tian"...    DSD  

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"Ikigai..."

Ikigai: The search for our life of purpose; our Reason D'etre; what makes our living worthwhile; the meanings within our adventurous journeys; the 'why we do what we do' when we wander the wild places...

Monday, September 04, 2017

"Right Before Us..."

“In the midst of our worried searching we recklessly abandon the treasures that life has bestowed upon us in the mad hunt for that which we wish to bestow upon ourselves.” 
Craig Lounsbrough


Sunday, September 03, 2017

"Nature's Simple Treasures..."


“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: 
If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, 
life and living need not be so hard.”  
R. Mendoza

Friday, September 01, 2017

"Shu....."

A brief small note, a very old word.
Of an even older ancient language.
Two present versions of this quiet saying.
Among other even more subtle hidden meanings as well.

Shu... Means that of an art.
Art of efforts, and of purpose.
Art of dedication, and for determination too.
Especially an art, very much beyond.
That which we may first think is understood.

Shu... Also refers to those magics.
The magics of mystery and of wonder.
Magic from out there, and within our hearts as well.
Magic of what happens and those embracing results.
Yet more importantly, of the journey of becoming.

Shu of our enduring efforts.
Shu for our adventurous purposes.
Shu of heading even farther out there.
The Shu then of discovering within.
Such elemental Shu artists we all truly are.
Adventurers and magicians of yet another wonderous kind..... DSD  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Imagine..."

What if we each did just one thing? What a gift this would be.
What if we each took just one step towards understanding our individual role in supporting the natural world we adventure in.
Decided upon one small effort to maintain and preserve the natural environment.
For one time our energy is expended for something or someone else. 
Or even one moment given for support and encouragement of another seeker within the wild lands.
These represent a different kind of generosity; one that is more about practicing a simpler kind of charity.
I've mused many times regarding how it's not just about each of us, on our own.
Rather, it is more about all of us, and even more so, about our stewardship for these special wild places.
I've pondered how adventures are not just about a focus upon an objective.that it can also be about a gesture, a very different way to expend energy, a reflection of a certain kind of effort.
And then it is only a matter of letting this simple kind of philanthropy ride the wave of its own momentum.
The impacts can be immeasurable...
This is not really about doing 'yet one more thing'.
Often it is only making such efforts part of the adventure experiences we are there for anyway.
We hike and paddle long distances one hour at a time, and are very amazed when we look back and see the distance we have covered and the height we have attained.
We journey for many days and are in wonder as we reflect on the experience and how much terrain and how many emotions we have traveled through.
If I can give back one small thing, then anyone can, and if anyone can, just imagine what could happen with just one thing.....  DSD   

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Imagine..."

“Imagine in vibrant, wonderful detail your heart’s desire—a reality only you can envision, an adventure only you can direct.
Then cradle your creation. Caress it. Mold it. Coddle it until it comes to life.
And when your precious treasure grows so grand as to steal your breath away, set it free for all the world to experience. For that is how you live your dreams.” 
Richelle Goodrich


Saturday, August 26, 2017

"Jonathan Journeys Farther..."

Thank you Jonathan,
for sharing in this adventure journey!

https://summitstonesadventuremusings.blogspot.ca/2007/05/tale-of-two-jonathans.html

https://summitstonesadventuremusings.blogspot.ca/2009/10/adventuring-for-another-reason.html



Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Who Would Have Thought....."



Who would have thought, I mused once again, that such trials within our adventure trails, would create so many other potent experiences... 
Who would have thought, that on a mountain side like that, among those severe edges, testing of skills and confidence, that we would begin to realize things only known when we each take that step further. Who would think, that with those doubts out there during a snow storm, that almost never seemed to let up, we would begin to let go and then sense the wonder of the unknowns.
No one could have known that our anxieties upon that cliff face, would prompt us to go beyond, and discover more of what we each can then turn into powerful personal motivations. There were those chills too, in the midst of that mist and endless coastal rain, during our longest hike yet - no one had pondered how our best days would develop within such trying inclement weather. Who would have thought, that being so off course due to paddling through those relentless winds and waves, that we would again sense more within us than we ever first knew. None of us had expected that the wearing of the cold in our coldest winter camping trip, would be a catalyst for developing even deeper abilities for endurance. Who would have thought, that a whiteout above 10,000 feet, would help us now to see more clearly, how and why prior preparation and practice was so very important. 
Who could have predicted, that upon a northern lake and island, where we experienced so much of what was not expected, we would begin to embrace how wonderful the hidden surprises of the wild places can be. 
Who would have thought, that down within our darkest and deepest canyon, we would find even other depths within us, reflecting those out there among those ancient grounds. 
Who would have thought... I muse time and time again..... DSD 

Friday, August 18, 2017

"For Fur, Feathers, And Fins Friday's..."

"Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way...". John Muir

Just pondering some quotes and gifted images from other adventurers, while I am 'Mixing In' some fine strands and bits of the wild ones fur discovered out wandering these many last seasons. They are often the last elements mixed in with my paints upon these little Summit Stones. I always hope they add to the character of each and feel they tell a story all of their own too. Muir's musing really says it all doesn't it my Friends..... DSD   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Maps Do Not Just Chart..."

"A map does not just chart.
It unlocks and formulates meaning.
It forms bridges between here and there.
Between disparate ideas, that we did not know,
were previously connected...".
Reif Larson

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"Inner Maps..."


H. Lodge wrote of us that, "How can your brain make sense of the staggering, impossible ocean of information that comes our way? The solution is brilliantly simple. Your brain makes maps. And not just a few maps, but maps of everything - thousands of them every second. Physical, social, and intellectual maps streaming in, emotional maps streaming out. To a large extent, you navigate your life from emotional maps".

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Uncharted Territory..."

"Uncharted territory,
I said.
These parts on the maps of our lives, that we don't understand.
In Cartographer's language,
They call these places,
sleeping beauties...".
Christopher Barzak

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Feeling That Way..."


"It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”   Cheryl Strayed

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

"Of Fears & Freedom..."

"On the other side of every fear,
is a freedom...".
Marilyn Ferguson


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

"Discovering Gifts..."


"Serenity does not cancel hope or adventure, work, or love... It flows through the heart of a landscape... quiet and strong, clear and gentle. Refreshing all we do or dream...". 
Patrick Brown
Serenity, contentment, love, and peace... What gifts we discover as we far adventure... DSD

Monday, July 31, 2017

"The First Time On Outward Bound..."

"A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are for...". John Shedd
The first time this was said on Outward Bound, it struck a few as funny because while this old quote reflected on ships and the ocean, we were deep within the mountains. Yet metaphors and Outward Bound blend together like summits and the sky, so the next few times we heard this we listened with different ears...
Now, looking far back to those origins and beginnings, many of us can see as well how Outward Bound had firstly sent us forth - launched our very selves and lives upon so many amazing undertakings. We have since propelled ourselves towards mountain summits, then launched further when rappelling on our return. We've initiated treks so far, taken first steps out in wild places previously only envisioned, gone forth on the open ocean and among canyons so much farther and deeper than ever expected.
Such launchings...
So many wonderful journeys, all from those first fledgling beginnings. We adventurers are born for this kind of experience. It is elemental, primal, an inherent part of us and what we do when we wander the wild places.
Soon, I am about to 'commence once more', for long days and as many nights, starting on a course that has taken years for it to come into being. I will launch with my sea kayak out towards my farthest, most elusive coastal island yet, with new expansive intentions, towards those dreams only known upon a map until those moments. My goal is the creation of memories, that would not have been a possibility, without being sent off in those truly encouraging ways, so long ago on Outward Bound..... DSD  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"We Are All..."


"We are all in some sense, mountaineers... and going to the wilderness is going home." J. Muir

Monday, July 24, 2017

"The Road Ahead..."

"The road ahead,
is not some predetermined path,
that I am forced to trod.
But it is a rich byway,
That I can help create...".
Craig. Lounsbrough



Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Farther Meanings..."

"At various points in our lives,
or on a quest,
and for reasons that often remain obscure,
we are driven to make decisions,
which prove with hindsight, 
to be loaded with meaning...".
Satchidananda



Monday, July 17, 2017

"Balancing..."

"What is joy without sorrow.
What is success without failure.
What is a win without a loss.
What is health without illness.
You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other.
This is always going to be suffering.
It's how you look at your suffering,
how you deal with it,
that will define you...".
Mark Twain


Saturday, July 08, 2017

"Begin With Your Map..."

"Who has not spread out a map on the table and felt its promise of places to go and things to do and see... Maps embody a perspective of that which is known, and a perception of that which may be worth knowing." J. Wilford
This seems such a natural time for musings during these early dawning days of a new year. To me, maps are visual metaphors for new ideas...
Maps are more than useful for finding one's direction or sorting out some kind of navigation. Yet they can also reflect a true genesis of creative ideation and imagination. This is pure fuel for our enthusiasm and motivation.
This timing and kind of effort inherently reflects new beginnings and the nature of our 'beginners mind', the ability to see things in new ways and with fresh eyes.
Such musings and map reading are all about fresh starts, about things worth wondering over, adventures to ponder about. There is so much fun to be found in the planning of climbs and scrambles to unknown summits, deep canyons to explore, kayaking routes to enjoy, hiking and biking trails to set out upon.
I have always been so intrigued by maps. And believe, as R. Schultheis said, "There are many potential maps of course; physiological, psychological, biochemical, theological, and anthropological." There can be many dimensions to maps; more so than are just apparent on a flat piece of paper.
Especially the exploring, of new places, of ourselves in those places, and of unique perceptions.
These are all means for adventuring.
I have so many maps. Those upon my wall, rolled in protective tubes, old worn folded maps, and those I enjoy discovering while paging through the endless excellent adventure guides to be found out there.
Map musings re-mind us of what memories we have created and what adventures we wish to have... DSD 

Thursday, July 06, 2017

"Today..."

Deng Ming-Dao mused, "When one walks in the woods or climbs mountains, there is a wonderful unity of body, mind, and spirit... One is freed to observe nature's lessons. Gnarled roots. A flight of swallows. Bladed reflections of rushing water. Just budding bare branches. Gray rock, cracked, shattered, and worn. A fallen tree. A lone cloud. The laughter of plum branches. Even a little circle of rocks beside the trail - who put them there, or did any hand arrange them, and no matter which, what are the secrets of that circle? There are a thousand meanings in every view, if only we open ourselves to see the scripture of the landscape."


Today, I hold a single rock in my hand, from such a wild place, remembering one meaning from within a thousand. 
Now, I think I will splash just a little bit of paint upon this stone, and place it somewhere appropriate and special just for you... DSD