Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"A So Wonderful Musing..."

What would I have done without you...
Now, this is a pondering that I have often so intensely wondered about: what on earth would I have done without all of these adventures.
You glorious mountains and your elusive summits, with those cherished challenges, and endless subtle secrets that you have shared.
You memorable meandering rivers and northern lakes, reflecting all of what you have so generously given back, in proportion to our efforts to learn your ways.
You silently beautiful canyons, and those wondrous desert towers, with your contrasts, connections, and ancient stories about time and harmony.
You vast valleys and deep dark forests, with your slow, deliberate sharing of such natural power and mystery, from so far out there - only to then return me to the place I began, while teaching us all how to also finally then discover such magic back here as well.
It is very hard to imagine, what I would have done without Outward Bound, and the courses they set me upon of so many life directions those long years ago, when really, truly, introducing the wild places to one very young back then.
It is even more difficult to envision what would I have done without all that hard earned knowledge, shared with me by so many - the countless ways and means of navigating both the trails out there, and also those internal ones of our lives too.
What on earth would I have done without all of you elements, over these many decades, in the midst of my own trials of health and life, along with those forever cherished connections you also gave, in our close fellow adventurers as companions and friends.
Gratefulness is a concept we wanderers all deeply sense.
Gratitude is an experience that lingers longer than many others.
Thank you so very much, for what would I have done without you.....DSD  

Monday, November 27, 2017

"Untold Treasures..."

"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...".   D. Ming-Dao

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Our Own Mountains To Climb..."

We all have our own mountains to climb and our own 'summits' to achieve. Our quest for these 'summits' is as important as attaining them... The arduousness of our quest is part of how we come to understand our motivation. Creating and recreating our own enthusiasm and motivation is the very essence of adventure experiences. There are many kinds of 'summits' and many 'adventure ways'. When we push our own limits at a level, and in an activity, that is right for each of us, with a focus on safety and especially fun; we journey along paths of freedom, happiness, beauty, and truth. The 'path' could be up a mountain, along a coastline, down a river or canyon, along a trail or ridge line, under the earth, across a lake or ocean, through any wilderness. The 'means' could be by going solo or in a group, with boots, runners, rope, crampons, bike, ski, snowshoe, kayak, canoe, raft, or... Achievement is determined by our own efforts and not just results. How will you arrange the elements in your life? What will your next 'adventure summit' be?   DSD  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"An Old Friend..."

"As I look for the route, a silhouette descends the skyline. A grey figure, quiet as memory, settles on a large block, pulls his ropes, then notices me... The climber wore an old style of clothing, I think, or was that the effect of dimming clouds...".  J. Auld

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"So Many Years Of 'Mixing In'....."

It is not a well known practice within the ages old lore of painting, yet it is though an especially endearing and timeless tradition among some artists. 
One that I have learned over time to so appreciate. There is such a process of trial and error to it. 
It begins with the selection of just the right paints, and is then blended only with certain other elements. 
But though the results may not be apparent, the hidden meanings of these mediums feel so very profound.
This is the practice, the painters slow artistry and discipline of 'mixing in'. Where select very small amounts of silt or earth, tiny particles of desert or coastal sand, maybe bits of crumbled leaves, possibly ash or charcoal from old campfires, even pure rain or ocean waters, or the strands of some wild ones' fur - among other unique elements, are gathered from chosen wild places, and other power places. 
Then they are very carefully mixed in with these paints. This technique makes the paint come alive; with a brush that takes to this blending, and is then applied so slowly in swirls and layers and coatings.
Within my own naive renditions of mountain ranges, forests, waters, sky's, and fires are often found such mixings. They then become an elemental part of these Summit Stones that I am sure the Finders can sense when they are held closely.....  DSD  

Monday, November 13, 2017

"Of Expressions..."

"Having nothing to offer but broken pebbles, I have nevertheless tried to express myself with sincerity..."

Friday, November 10, 2017

"We Have Our Tomorrow Because Of What They Gave..."

"Politics can be messy.
Democracy may have its flaws.
Freedom is not free.
Many have paid for this with their lives.
Yet it is better for all than what has been before...".  Winston Churchill

"All we have of freedom, all we use or know.
This our fathers bought for us.
Long and long ago...". Rudyard Kipling  

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

"Through woods and mountain passes.
The winds, like anthems, roll...". Longfellow 

"When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave all of our today...". John Maxwell

"Just Beyond The Surf..."

"Just beyond the surf.
From our vantage on the backs of the waves,
we couldn't see the break.
But we could hear the roar.
As waves dropped onto the beach,
churning sand and rocks in their turbulence...".
Jon Turk

Friday, November 03, 2017

"Wandering Epiphanies..."

Out among the summits that day, I was reminded how adventuring is not just about the endless vistas, nor only about the brilliant sunrises and sunbeams we see out there for example, as wonderfully amazing that they always seem to be. So many times we also sense certain kinds of beginnings, those previously unknown ways and means for seeing, in developing formative perceptions about all of what we experience in so many new ways as well.
This is what was unfolding that hiking day out with close friends, to the headwaters of a great river, near an ancient glacier, and right by the immense waterfall that shares in the stories within all that mountain history. What eventually manifests on such adventures we can never really predict. One of the many reasons we go, as I'm sure we all sense, is the seeking of such inspiration out there - the hope for discovery of new things, different ways to see, and for even more meaningful ways to be.
This is reflects the phenomenon of the epiphany.
That nexus of awareness and effort, energy and adversity, attitude and perspective, connection and projection, all within our past, present, and future. This all allows the elements to blend, and then unfold, in so many kinds of amazing revelations.
Three such epiphanies were gifted to me that hiking day.
First was an energetic youth, whom we saw moving along the trail up ahead. His gait was uneven, almost as if he was unsure. But that was not the case at all, for he was hiking with a prosthetic leg, yet more surely than many we have met out there. His pace, his intention, that smile, and determination, all shared so much about discovery.
Then later, was an elder. A woman out with her family, who surprised us when we were to catch up. Her energy was endless, her enthusiasm contagious. I asked as politely as I could of her son how old she was. "Seventy eight", he said so proudly, "and she's not slowing down at all". There again was that wonderful appearance, of both perception and inspiration, hiking out ahead of us, so gracefully amidst that later time of life and yet in this wild place too.
Finally, most profoundly, at the far portion of our hike, near the base of that very high waterfall, was another of that adventure days epiphanies hiking slowly towards us. I had been gathering up old rocks that would surely later have a bit of paint splashed upon them. Through the mist surrounding me, I looked up to see one of my friends talking with a couple. The gentleman looked about my age, but it was his face that caught my eye. He looked tired in a different way, yet a smile and happy gestures were there as well. When approaching them, as I needed to place the stones I had gathered up in my pack over by my friend, I was then able to listen in a bit to the conversation. "What a wonderful waterfall", they were saying, and "a gorgeous trail we've hiked over", they were sharing about too. I don't know how the topic then came up, but as we do chat about so much with others out on the trail, then this person shared about what this day out there meant to him. His cancer had recently returned. There would be no treatments this time around, he said, while decisions now needed to be made, and hiking this whole trail this day was one of these.
The mist on my face hid the tears in my eyes as I listened quietly to the rest of his story. Then later with a wave and a smile, they carried on and I waved back, then watched them hike on further.
I am sure you all share in the same revelations that came to mind right then my friends.
Three epiphanies appeared, and were gifted us that long adventure day, and we will not ever forget them..... DSD  

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

"Elliot's Echoes..."

"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