Thursday, August 16, 2018

“The Winged One’s...”


I have always believed that we have yet to truly understand the unique, powerful, and mysterious relationship we have to those who fly overhead.
Stephen Lyman wrote:"To the Winged Ones who see the larger picture from above".
Those of our winged family who have such a view of the world have much they can teach us.
I remember Coastal kayaking among eagles young and old passing so closely by.
A ridge route scramble, where quietly above us, maybe not noticed by all, was a great flight of wonders.
Being solo on Banff's 3rd highest summit; higher than any mountain is sight, where my friend for the day was a single companionable bird.
I remember Rafting the Grand; both in the midst of serious rapids and those quiet moments of floating and contemplation, when diving among us were winged creatures of to many varieties to count.
There was a Columbia Icefields summit; where that magnificent creature of the air led the way.
And there, flying overhead, on another past adventure, we were once more sharing blue sky and even a more blue ocean with another of our wild place family out there.
And yet again, during a season for climbing, after just a glimpse of a passing shadow, I waited to look up because I knew what I was wondering and hoping for and was not disappointed.
There they were; not so far above, following our route - the mist in my eyes that moment from more than the cold.
A beautiful feather fell from the sky at some point that day and had landed near the summit cairn.
While I didn't get a picture, it then rested with the register along with some small painted cobblestones.
I truly do believe we share a close relationship with the 'Winged Ones' that we do not fully understand yet.
Scientists can't seem to agree on if we evolved some how from them; or maybe they have evolved further from us.
It does seem though, that if we could soar high above, especially during troubling times, and view the world from such a perspective, much would be seen differently by us on this great rock we all share.....
DSD

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

“New Dimensions...”


"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions...". O.W. Holmes

Sunday, August 12, 2018

“Of Listening...”



"Much silence has a mighty noise...". Swahili Proverb

"The quieter you become, the more you can hear...". Ram Dass

Friday, August 10, 2018

“One Day A Boy Asked His Father...”


One day a boy asked his father, “What is the value of this life?” Instead of answering, the father told his son, “Take this rock and go offer it at a market, however do not accept any offer and bring the rock back to me. If anybody asks the price, raise two fingers and don’t say anything.”The boy then went to the market and a man asked,”How much is this rock? I want to put it in my garden.” The boy didn’t say anything and raised two fingers, so the man said… “$2? I’ll take it.” And the boy went home and told his father, “A man at the market wants to buy this rock for $2.” The father then said, “Son I want you to take this rock to the museum, and if you are asked the price, raise two fingers and don’t say a word.” The boy then went to the museum, and quickly a man wanted to buy the rock, The boy didn’t say anything and raised two fingers and the man said… “$200? I’ll take it.” The boy was shocked and went running home with the rock in hand, “Father a man wants to buy this rock for $200.” His father then said, “There is one last place I’d like you to offer this rock, take it to the precious stone store and show it only to the owner and don’t say a word, if he asks the price raise two fingers.” The son then went to the precious stone store and showed the rock to the owner. “Where did you find this?” The owner asked, “This is a most precious unpolished gem, one of the most valuable in the whole world, I must have it. What price would you take for it?” The boy didn’t say anything and raised two fingers to which the man replied “Two million dollars? That is a bargain, I’ll take it!” The boy not knowing what to say went breathlessly running home to his father anxiously clutching this now priceless gem, terrified that he might lose it, “Father there is a man who wants to buy this rock for two million dollars!!!” The father then said, “Son you have been carrying in your hands, one of the most precious objects of our people, it is truly priceless!” The father then said, “Son do you now know the value of your life?” To which the son replied… 'The value of my life, is much like this rock, it depends on who it is offered to. Some place a value of $2, others $200, and still others two million dollars. I must surround myself with other precious Souls who recognize the greatest value of my life, because it is my most precious possession, and I must not allow it to be under valued, it’s true value is priceless.' " In reply the father said, " Son you have actually held in your possession the TWO most precious things that our people have, one is the stone and the other is YOU, that is why I asked you to hold up TWO fingers" What is the value of this life??? Priceless!”  Raymond D. Longoria Jr.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

”Of Difficulty And Daring...”


"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare... It is because we do not dare that they are difficult...". Seneca
Interesting at times how a cliff or mountain may present as such a test for us - until after we have embraced and climbed them. Then they become more truly the fun challenges that we now remember fondly.
Curious how some rapids may look to be such a trial - until after we have run them , then we laugh and talk so excitedly in the afterglow of those moments.
Funny how the unknown out there and the darkness of those nights may be so foreboding - until we keep going and then see what was on the other side of such mists, and our confidence grows yet again.
So interesting it is...
DSD

Sunday, August 05, 2018

“Leave No Stone Unturned...”.



"To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: 'Leave no stone unturned'...". E.Lytton

We turn over so many cobblestones on our journey...
Under some we find what hides in the dark, damp places, and that which maybe should be left alone.
Under most others though, we discover treasure we learn to embrace and define within our adventure ways.
Yet all likely need to be turned, experienced, pondered, and mused about...
Where will your next stone be found Dear Finders...
DSD

Saturday, August 04, 2018

“Remembering...”


"Remember... The dream that comes true in midocean or at the dry waterhole or on black ice; the animal that appears at the precise and empty instant you need it to whisper in your ear." 
R. Shultheis

Remember, my dear friends, remember such moments from within our lives of adventure, and smile once again at the wonder of it all...  DSD


Friday, August 03, 2018

“At Some Point...”


"At some point in every wilderness journey, a moment comes when triggered by a sudden sensation, a glance backward or a stop to look all around, the trekker realises that a threshold has been crossed, that the last vestiges of tamed landscape have been left behind and the surrounding territory is purely wild." M. Mardon

I do so love that very moment.
And often ponder how it seems very much like that, both externally out there, and also within our internal landscape as well...
DSD

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

“Adventuresome Motives...”


"But if adventure has a final and all embracing motive it is surely this: We go out because it is in our nature to go out and climb mountains and to sail the seas, to fly the planets and plummet into the depths of the oceans. By doing these things we may touch with something outside or behind, which strangely seems to approve our doing them. We extend our horizon, we expand our being, we revel in the mastery of ourselves." W. Noyce

Monday, July 30, 2018

“Embracing The Ancient...”

To have such a hiking trail, with nearby rocky peaks to scramble upon, while being surrounded by Ice Fields and glaciers so very, very old, is simply wonderful and amazingly beautiful.
It's almost as if the elements have agreed that because so much of this area is so high, so extreme, and so far away, that one small point on this part of the map should be accessible to us. If for no other reason than to bear witness to what can most often may be only seen, never touched.
That seems to be true for the many who come to view the glaciers from far down before us on the highway below. Many cannot, or choose not to hike or scramble in this way, yet they are still afforded moments among such majesty of long ago.
Way up here though, as we gaze across at the distant Ice Fields, we can sense times long past, moments belonging to the Olden Ones and their ways. Everything here has existed, has lived, for so long that any kind of measure of their time lines becomes indistinct. These ancient peaks, these great glaciers, even the oldest windswept trees, among lichens of so many colors and ageless rocks of such different kinds surely holds the secrets of the eternities.
There are old stories to be discovered here, and told, of what existed back then, of the precursor's of today, of these beautiful monuments belonging to antiquity. 
They are so well preserved, and all so very prepared to pause for each of us - their former selves still in their continuing greatness in all its splendour, waiting patiently for we adventurers to venture forth and hike there among these ancients.....
DSD

Sunday, July 29, 2018

“What If...”


What if...
What if it all means we should go. 
You know, even with all of 'That'.
What if all of those other so important distractions, that daily distress, those preoccupations of people and time pressures, the never ending deadlines, family concerns, others issues, lack of support or sleep, that extra work, or feeling quite tired of it all - what if on another level of understanding and need, what if it all means you should go.
Of course, many of these are real concerns, important in their own way, and needing of some time and attention. But, what if, having all of these kinds of storms in our lives - rather than meaning we shouldn't or seemingly couldn't go, what if they all actually are telling us a different secret... 
Even while they are trying us, testing us, to see how much we want these adventures; what if much of what we really need many times is to be found in the avocation of our wanderings out there.
What if, by going, we discover more clarity, become centered again, more focused yet relaxed, renewed of energy, and so much more able to return to navigate all those other such things back here.
What if, after pondering this seemingly simple question, we each uncover a heretofore hidden and immeasurably valuable answer for ourselves.
What if...
DSD

Thursday, July 26, 2018

“Two Climbing As One...”

Two climbers, two rope partners, two close friends. 
Climbing as one, on a mountain of rock, among endless beauty of snow and ice. 
Knowing that closeness and shared feelings of movement, sensation, of placement, and position. 
It is typically two who are out there, upon those mountain faces, while linked by rope, and commitment in that unique way. 
There may be two, but they are really climbing as one.
A special experience of connection it is, of profound shared wonders and such potent energy. 
Touching the same rock - moving, blending, within the music of adventurous synchronicity. 
A mixing in of space, within moments of time, and of an agreed upon intention. 
One knowing the other, so very closely, in that experience of trust, confidence, and friendship. 
There may be two, yet they are more truly climbing as one..... DSD

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

“Such Tides...”


While even so called, I was to learn that such tides occur not just in the spring, but rather when the Earth, Sun, and Moon are in concordance. They are the strongest of tides; the tides of extremes for highs and lows, when the pull, the drawing, of both sun and moon work synergisticly together. 
The moon was indeed very full as I looked out over those island waters. I had not seen them in some time.
The tide tables also shared what could now be viewed out among these quiet points of rock that were growing higher and larger as the minutes passed. 
The waters were withdrawing, were retreating, were letting go of their grasp upon the land. 
And as with all true mystery, now things were being shared that were not known before. 
I was up at that very early hour for just this experience. 
To listen in the night, to converse with the moon, to watch the waters ebb beyond, to walk upon a shoreline that hardly ever breathes the air, and hopefully to find those treasures that are only shared in those brief, ephemeral, moments such as this.
They were indeed there.
The pure soft sands, the countless shells & sand dollars, endless polished cobblestones, and tidal life so vibrant and full of energy. 
I wandered and strolled and walked and mused and stooped and sat for endless moments, until the waters voice became more insistent to return. 
Then the first full glow of a distant horizon began to more show itself.
Such a special spring tide.
Another of those gentle, hidden, beautiful gifts from out there..... DSD 

Monday, July 23, 2018

“No Tread At All It Seemed...”


No Tread at all it seemed, between us and the trail that day.
Within a flow, a sense of something else, effortlessness among our paths. 
Those feelings, a sweet spot to be, ongoing motion, momentum forward, no need for long to rest.
No tread between us and the trail, nor the mountain too.
Steep slopes, so much loose scree, yet continuous movement, with heads held up very high. 
The knowing of endurance of another kind, an assuredness within each and every step. 
Forward, upward, then upon the peak, nothing between us and the ancient rock. 
Instead a sensing, blending, becoming one, between us and that whole adventure day.....DSD

Thursday, July 19, 2018

“Simply, Quietly, Resolutely, Calmly...”


To stand upon such a summit; quietly, resolutely, calmly. 
Listening by oneself, to our most inner adventure selves.
On our own, yet never alone. 
Gazing out before us, upon a sea of summits, and wonderful experiences too.
To rest upon a summit in this way, to begin to know our mountain, so very personally and closely, is to touch the hidden and elusive, the most ephemeral, the very enduring, the truly elemental. 
Upon such a summit, simply by oneself..... DSD

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“Geomancy...”


I've always believed in Geomancy: the mysteriousness of the Elements.
I've certainly felt the reality of Geopiety: special favorite places in the world where we each seem to belong.
How about you? Hasn't it felt just 'right' when you've touched that granite rock, turned a corner on that trail and saw that forever moment vista, or landed with a muted crunch on that sandy and rocky beach.
What about one of those nights when you got up for a moment and gazed up at stars to numerous to count.
Then discovered again that mountain lake that you've seen so many times before and yet find yourself now really beginning to sense what is there.
Then there are the sounds - falling asleep to the wind in the trees, the distant thunder that both intrigues and yet scares us, the many cords of the rain, how it starts, grows in cadence, then fades away. And the ocean - which has too many sounds too note, and yet whose music we never seem to tire of.
How can there not be a Geomancy; how can we not find some Geopiety?
So it also feels right to then give something back; picking up some garbage out there, helping on trail restoration, or quietly passing forward while placing a few little touchstones season after season.
Maybe when others found these, it invited them to create some of their own Geomancy.
Maybe they will also then give something back to that wild place...
DSD

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

“A Lovely Truth...”



"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware."    M. Buber

Friday, July 13, 2018

“Thaumatourgos...”


Languages and stories are like stones for me; the older and the more unique, the better.
The Greeks for example, knew how to blend both the mysteries and the realities of life in many of their ancient stories. Their culture was one built upon and also set many times within stone as well. They revered people who would journey into the wilds and return to share their tales. These were the Thaumatourgos.
The ones who were changed, who underwent powerful transformations as they met with and endured the elements. This ability to do this within such experiences belonged to the realm of these 'wonder workers'.
Adventurers are indeed Thaumatourgos and are certainly a part of that group that embraces all of the wonders out there.
As adventurers, we marvel at that which we wander through, we seek out the elements and the beautiful mysteries of nature, as we know of the these potential transformations that will surely become real for us. The wilds are the places and the elements are the means.
We adventurers see this every time we journey among the mountain giants, as we wander the hidden valleys and forests, as we travel among the distant coastal islands, and over the mysterious northern lakes too. 
Philosophers have also mused over the Thaumatourgos, but in their own unique way. Their view of such transformations and reflections are of personal beliefs, especially those about responsibilities, and also in the understanding of the concept of 'gifts'.
Most adventurers I know are philosophers in their own right - poets too; as they create their own magic or 'Theurgy' out there through spirit and effort, energy, and altered perceptions. Any personal transformation is about change, in appearance, in form, and through expression. 
The wonder of such workings is that we see this all the time out there, like when climbing upon the face of a mountain through the various seasons. 
We ourselves experience this intensely when we return changed in so many ways from what we were before our adventure experience's had unfolded. As with the frozen rivers which will transform to flowing waters, or with the so stormy ocean which returns to its' own calmness, we too become an inherent part of the whole wild place Thaumatourgos. 
Sometimes when wandering the wilds, I can even transform back so many years into that younger version of myself as I climb or kayak or canyoneer. 
Now that is a magical gift. 
Such transformations, our personal adventure Theurgy, is truly a transmutation of the elements. 
What a powerful, wonderful, blend of expression, spirit, and magic this is..... DSD

Thursday, July 12, 2018

“Calculus...”



Musae, Movere, Ignis. Significatio, Elementi, Vita. Ignis, Ubi, Natura... Nine words of Latin. Written on some parchment. Found in an old register. Upon an elusive summit. It seems the interpretation though, is now up to each of us. Calculus... DSD 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

“Summits...”


Mountain summits are small places with large symbolic potential... The sublimity of mountain climbing manifests itself in two ways: as an environment to be experienced and as a medium for self-expression." R. Mitchell

Thursday, July 05, 2018

“It’s All About Perspective...”


"Yet another burned area presents itself further along the trail with many a scorched tree still standing, very likely to live on through many more thunderstorms. But one dead tree... seems to have stood in the ground through many revolutions of the earth... its bark peeling away exposing its wood to the elements. While the sides of the dead fir are charred, its upper surface is smooth, bleached to a uniform grey, and as inviting to an artist as a chalkboard. He takes a piece of charcoal in hand and sketches a woman's face, not in bold outline, but subtly, with shadings and blurred features, so that an unsuspecting hiker coming upon it later might wonder if Mother Nature hadn't drawn the image herself." M. Mardon

Monday, July 02, 2018

“Adventure Energies...”


I've heard Mountain & Sea Kayak Guides, as well as our Outward Bound Instructors, all mention it. 
We've seen it in action in the Grand Canyon; experienced it in ways hard to describe while climbing and when out upon the ocean; felt it so sustain us on longer treks. 
And we are still seeking out the meanings of to 'go where the energy is'... 
I believe this to be a quietly, profoundly, simply important concept for those of us who wander. We only need to witness its' magic once in a fellow adventurer, after seeing them so tired and worn out past where a person would be expected to last. Yet they do... 
We see them discover a different source of energy, a whole new wellspring of enthusiasm and motivation to keep on going. It is then we ask: What is this means for motion have they tapped into; what elemental energies have they aligned with? 
While as individuals we do vary in our physical makeup, in our internal energies of motivation and drive, and as well in how our external objectives then pull each of us forward - energy is the essence that any adventurer draws upon to make their wild place dreams become real. 
Ability is only the beginning. 
Energy is what makes it sustaining. 
So, what does this mean - 'to go where the energy is'? Could it be about those places of geomancy where a force, some kind of latent power, emanates from the elements themselves? 
Might it be the synergy of shared vigour and fun that group activity out there radiates in countless dynamic ways? 
What is hidden behind that which incites each of us, that causes our hearts to beat so, that stimulates our mind, our spirit, the very core of our being? 
Maybe it is the potential to be discovered within every new experience; possibly the passions each of us have that fuels our personal flames; or also quite likely the endless variations of the elements themselves that never cease to inspire each of us out there. So wherever your elemental enthusiasms wait for you Dear Finder, trek towards them, embrace them, allow yourself to be infused by them. Ask yourself right then, why does this stimulate me so, what is it that I want here, what do I want this to mean, why is this so important for me. 
Such questions and the resulting musings will surely guide each of us to where your own lasting energies await..... DSD

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“Something Within...”


"So if you cannot understand that there is something in us which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go...". G. Mallory
Dedicated this adventure season to all our Friends who understand this 'something within us', and who are Adventuring For Another Reason ..... DSD  

Monday, June 25, 2018

“Of Seeing...”




There is a person I hope to see out there often, hiking on a trail of dreams to a very distant valley.
There is someone I feel we know quite well, out upon those ocean waters, among those so secluded islands.
There is a wanderer we each sense out beyond too, wondering at the beauty & mystery of both sunrise and sunset.
There is also a familiar individual rappelling, deep into those canyons, just out there a little ahead of us.
There is a climbing partner of ours, who waves once again at us, from those heights of rock and spirt and thought.
That person, that paddler, this climber, and hiker, is the real adventurer within each of us my Dear Friends. 
There is an Adventurer inside each of us here, waiting to journey out there, so we can meet with each other again, and share so much more with ourselves in all of these wild ways..... DSD

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Never Stop...”




"Be like the explorers of old... Never stop learning, never stop exploring, never stop going on adventures." 
D. Ming-Dao
So never shall we..... DSD

Friday, June 15, 2018

“Timely Truth...”

 It is one of those distinct truths, we adventurers come to know so well, within our awareness of time, and especially of moments out there.
The real truth of it is, very much written in stone it would seem, that the time will pass anyway, regardless of how we plan or wander.
A truth we learn to hopefully embrace, not in any way of sadness or loss, for this potent awareness is so valuable, when understanding the depths of moments we each are gifted.
Time will indeed most certainly pass, no matter if we are aware, or do not choose to participate, as it is our time, and our own choice, to blend with this as we will.
When looking ahead over decisions and directions, then when gazing back upon memories and wonders, all the while accepting the elemental adventurous nature - of time..... DSD

Thursday, June 14, 2018

“A Book Of Musings...”


A small book, a great mountain, slowly unfolding sunrise, then a powerful storm.
Endless unique rock, many little stones, very strong winds, then some gentle rain.
An old book passed forward, now read upon a mountain seemingly on fire, gifting images of spirit, and lingering alpenglow.
A very old weathered tome, with an aged character and cover of leather, discovering the experience of losing oneself in its musings, now finding even more to ponder , then to write about too...
A small book, a great mountain, a brilliant sunset, and then such calm.
All reflecting the spirit of our adventures, and now of such lasting precious memories as well..... DSD
Dedicated this adventure day to all of you hardy spirits who are 'Adventuring For Another Reason' .

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

“Meanings...”


“Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human..."
Viktor Frankl
This, my Friends, is what we as adventurers do each and every step on our journeys...
DSD

Friday, June 08, 2018

“Inwards...”


Having mused these many years here, there are times when I've included phrases a number of occasions over. One in particular many of you have commented about echoes with the words, and the metaphors reflecting: "Further, farther, onward, upward, and inward as well".
I describe such phrases as echoes, as they are not really mine, but potent words, within powerful memories from out on Outward Bound courses. Every time, each moment, one of our Leaders shared such an encouragement, it resonated and resounded greatly with all of us. They often only used a few simple words, then began inviting and allowing for us to find our own meanings for them amidst our experiences out there.
"A little longer", they would say, "A bit further", they said, and then too, "A touch farther", "Onwards", and "Upwards".
Then so quietly, "Inwards" too, they would gently invite us to gaze.
The passing forward of such echoes, are gifts given many, many, times over..... DSD 

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

“Subtle Choices...”


There are always subtle choices to be made when adventuring out there... In the ways and means we each choose for our own paths. Especially knowing all the while we will need to forsake soreness. 
We press past our perceived physical limitations so many times.
When mountaineering, hiking, and paddling, we deny the discomforts and refuse to give in to whatever pain is often present. 
Being tired and sore is a price of admission we have each committed to pay, as we break away from whatever soreness used to mean to us. When preparing and training, we already know that it not just about pain & gain, but respectfully, purposefully, guiding ourselves past those prior points of reference.
As many have mused before, and as I have always held closely to, we would rather be worn out than not have gone, and soreness simply tells us we are chipping away at the rust of it all...
While forsaking such soreness, we do not withdraw our enthusiasm, nor renounce our intentions - we simply refuse to allow such fatigue and physical discomfort to make us abandon our chosen adventure objectives. We will not desert our goals for wandering out there.
We have broken away from more commonly held notions, because we know in our hearts that the toll & price of the pain of regret is much higher than the costs of our efforts. For if we relinquish what is truly important to us, if we give up on what is distinctly meaningful for each of us - then we have forsaken so much more than soreness..... DSD 
Dedicated to all those who keep going, putting one foot in front of the other...

Monday, June 04, 2018

“Home...”


Countless dreams, endless visions, like eternally polished stones,
As we so journey, very far away, we then discover home...
Hand worn wooden staff and paddle,
Ancient trails of rock and water,
Along paths of such immense beauty, enduring memories then to share...
Elusive summits, among open valleys,
Overlooking deep canyons, at first so very hidden,
Islands of wonder, wild rivers and oceans,
Seeking the whole mystery, becoming even quieter still...
We are able to discover, so much eternal wonder,
While musing and pondering, lingering and wandering,
Seeing with new eyes, within our many adventurous ways...
Finding such connections, along our shared paths,
As we so long journey,
We will surely then discover home..... DSD 

Dedicated this season to all you Fellow Wanderers, who are out still 'Adventuring For Another Reason'. 

Sunday, June 03, 2018

“O Muse...”


“Make this tale live for us in all its many bearings, O Muse...".  Homer's Odyssey

Friday, June 01, 2018

“Mountains Within Our Dreams...”


We all have blue mountains within our dreams, and distant endearing islands too,
Hidden wild places we very much hope to see, with so many possibilities awaiting there...
We all have blue high mountains within our dreams, and hidden islands too,
Elusive experiences we simply call adventures, our personal journeys of effort, mind, and spirit...
We all have blue stormy mountains within our dreams, and misty islands too,
Such ephemeral memories that are yet to be, true paths and trails we are each destined to share...
We all have countless blue mountains within our dreams, and endless islands too,
Always echoing from our ancient selves, while we forever seek such horizons to this very day... DSD 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

”Contemplative Motion...”

To Kinhin - To go forward.
An Eastern concept, reflecting being on a course of philosophy and meditation.
To be within our Kinhin is to be immersed in a meditative meditation while moving; often as a walking meditative state. Other motion can be embraced though as well.
The Kinhin process is linked to our breathing, part of each step, yet found between our steps too.
The Kinhin experience is an awareness of body, joined in movement. The gentle focus upon position of our head, shoulders, hands, the transfer of weight, our balance & center, all step by measured step.
This is contemplative motion.
A single step, then another, each step, by step, within a further step.
Our mind, core, legs, feet, and then the earth, all joined, blending, while looking down, yet ahead as well. Feeling like yet another kind of ephemeral trail dancing.
Being within Kinhin requires only a gentle focus of sorts at first. But the goaless goal is simply to do it, be it, without over thinking, thus creating the eventual meditative movement within each moment.
If our mind wanders, or the vistas attract us, or a conversation engages us, then we eventually just return to the meditations, the movement, the motion..
We adventurers are usually quite mindful about all the kinds of terrain within our perceptions out there, as it is important often for safety, and also fun to do so.
Yet the Kinhin quieting is another level to our awareness out within the wild places. As we hike, drift in our kayak, in the midst of our climbing, all blending elemental rhythms of self, earth, air, waters, and the energy all about and within us... DSD 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Just My Pack And I..."

Such very old friends we are,
Good companions for quite long.
We've shared so many wild experiences,
Within endless days well out there.
We've journeyed far and wide together,
Carrying things for each other.
Me toting these old packs,
Then them carrying me as well.
No one else about this day,
Nothing more needed for our hike.
Just our own company yet once again,
As we begin the trail and the pathways up.
I so enjoy these adventures which we share,
Such moments seem simpler and then more clear.
Nothing technical to be done this time,
Only the essentials will we both carry.
I am always very happy to see again,
These old cherished well worn partners.
Much like their siblings from the past,
Who have become special for me as well.
Such very old friends we are,
Great companions for so long.
One more lovely day out there,
For just my pack and I..... DSD   

Friday, May 18, 2018

"Just A Heads Up..."

Such a subtle transformation it was.
One of the processes of alchemy that Outward Bound Instructors are so well known for, as they lead wondering wanderers out there for their first time.
It was at the beginning of our course, with those heavy packs, the unknowns before us, some with new boots, others with doubts and fears, all inexperienced adventurers.
All of us were heads down it seemed, when hiking, when climbing, even as it felt at times when we were resting too.
If we looked up at all we would catch that inspiring glimpse of one of our leaders, head up, relaxed and contemplative. Mostly of us, but also of their surroundings, and even of something maybe not really seen, likely more elusive for those of us so new to these highlands.
As we so journeyed, we were coached and encouraged to keep our heads up. Initially because we would likely breath better, Later it was more about awareness... Of the wild places we were moving among, and the unfolding experiences we were going through.
As the long days became deep nights, and the nights evolved back to enduring days, then further to expansive hours, and more finally slowed to moments - one by one we individually found ourselves more heads up.
We began recognizing this in each other, and also saw the ongoing smiles this sparked within each of us.
The packs were still heavy. The terrain just as challenging. The footing as tricky at times. But we were no longer existing just with heads down.
These wild place perspectives had changed us as we had evolved farther while journeying through them.
From heads down. To heads up.
From enduring to enjoying.
From doubts to confidence.
From unknowns to welcoming embracements.
From just tired meandering to blissful wandering.
All with our heads up, held high, with great big full wonderful smiles to be found upon everyone's faces.
Heads up my friends..... DSD 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

"Waiting To Be Discovered..."

When introduced to our first Outward Bound Instructor on my initial course, we would learn that this person was very much a Leader, then also both Mentor and a Guide, yet even more.
We all began to realize from those moments on that more within this adventure experience was waiting to be discovered.
When we thought we were there, he invited us to move further along the trails.
When we believed we were too tired to take another step, he gently showed us how to go even farther.
If we thought it couldn't be done by ourselves, he would then support each of us in taking turns leading our group onward.
At times we could not see our way, and were then inspired by his vision.
As our doubts and uncertainties about where we were, and what we were doing became apparent, he modelled and demonstrated  the ways and means to keep going upward.
It was clear that what was heard and learned by us now, was becoming more than only what was said...
But what I myself found most intense, so distinctly vivid still in my memory, was what happened after I had shared about some particular limiting beliefs.
He looked right at me, if not right into me.
He didn't sit back, but instead stepped forward.
He asked certain distinct questions that only I could answer myself.
Then he also whispered quiet affirmations that seemed to resonate just for me.
What was said echoed out, but what was also truly sensed right then by me was an invitation - reflecting an intense enthusiasm, for sincere and powerful commitment.
What was said, then what was sensed, would now guide me along those endless paths for discovering more within than I had ever first realized..... DSD  

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

"Your First Course..."

"We shall not cease from exploration, and at the end of all exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time...". T.S. Eliot
On Outward Bound, on these many adventures, over all these long wonderfully full years, we share in learning more regarding what the mountains, the forests, the oceans, and the canyons are all really about.
On Outward Bound, through such adventures, over these endlessly amazing seasons, we then share in the knowledge too about who we are truly becoming as we are out wandering.
For we learn so much about all of what is out there. 
Then we discover as well that there is so much more within than ever first realized.
For as Henry miller wrote too: "Our destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things".
From gazing back upon where we each started .
Look at where we are now..... DSD 

Dedicated to all those about to undertake their first Outward Bound course this year.  

Sunday, May 06, 2018

"I Didn't Know I Had It In Me..."

A thesis demonstrated, a question answered, a lesson proved - out on Outward Bound yet once more.
I have seen it so many times over the years. Now it was shared with me again as a friends young family member pondered over their own elusive adventure experience.
There were remembrances of the trials out on the trails, the pushing of limits towards summits, and the evolving but sure developing of confidences.
Further skills needed to be learned and then truly practiced. Also enduring connections needed to be made with others, and with the many elements out among the wild places.
Yet, what echoed out most especially and significantly was what was then stated by a young adventurer who then quietly said, "I didn't know I had it in me...".
What wonderfully, powerful words these are.
That reflect even more potent meanings for all of us who wander.
Their Outward Bound maxim is that there is always more within us than we ever first realize.
This musing is one that we are quietly invited to endlessly ask deeply of ourselves.
The lesson then proved, is the gift we now have, in the answers we each create, while adventuring far out there.
There was still wonder, surprise, even awe, on the face of this young friend as those words were repeated again. By someone who now senses what they do indeed truly have within themselves. A young person who will now carry these dawning realizations further forward, and ever upward, now throughout their unfolding life.
Just like when I said this myself...
Way back then, so very long ago, and still subtly often do now, time and time again as well.
Such a wonderful lasting echo this is..... DSD 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

"Drums In The Distance..."

I think they have always been there.
These 'drums in the distance'.
Drumming has always been a very moving music for me to listen closely to. Those endless varied beats reflect our pulse it seems, the rhythms our pacing, and its' engagement our excitement.
So when I dream, ponder, and muse; then especially as I train, plan, and prepare - I often hear them building. These resounding drums in the distance.
The farther we go, the more clear they begin to feel.
The higher we climb, the more they resonate so strongly.
The longer distance we cover, the more distinct this music evolves.
The harder the experience we endure, the more pronounced the moving memories become.
I know I am not the only one who has sensed them..
There are many others who nod their heads, and slowly smile, when we quietly discuss hearing such music amidst our shared inspirations.
These drums in the distance echo off the highest mountains, within those endless ocean waves, from across the tallest desert towers and deepest canyon walls, even from beyond the farthest northern lakes.
These distant drums particularly resound from the long awaited anticipations, the real excitements, the epiphanies & wonders, and the unfolding awe we experience when beginning, and then enjoying, our journeys far out there.
The pulsing is really an inner music we know. The beat reverberating from our own hearts and songs.
But they are always there.
Never really silent.
Those slowly building, powerfully resonating, rhythmically feeling, forever echoing - our drums in the distance..... DSD