Find Your Wild
I love backpacking. There is something immensely satisfying in traveling with all your belongings carried turtle-like on your back. Each footfall takes me further from civilization and deeper into the wild. Each step leads me back to myself. Worries, concerns, and my to-do list, all fall away; I am a snake shedding its skin, reborn into new life.
Hiking offers a pure and primal simplicity. There is nothing for me to do but walk. In the rhythm of the walking, I find the rhythm of my Highest Self. My soul expands, my body rises to the challenge and revels in movement. Every sense is awakened and enlivened in the heart of Nature. I smell the fragrance of the trees and rich wet earth. I taste the wind as I walk in the shadow of the sacred mountains. With each step, I notice the wonder and miracle of a world teeming with life and color, the exquisite beauty of a pine cone or the bands of color in a pebble are secrets revealed on the trail.
Each step is a prayer. I walk on the bones of the earth and the stones sing to me. Immersed in the pure shining soul of Nature, I re-discover my shining Self. I remember who I am. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and awe at the generosity of Spirit.
Tuning To the Elements
The elements of earth, air, fire, and water charge and energize me. Back home, it is easy to ignore them from the shelter of my home and car. Here I am intimately connected with the wind and rain, the heat and dust. Attuned to the subtle changes and not so subtle changes of the weather. The icy wind off the glacier is a blessing in the heat of the day and a challenge when it carries driving rain and sleet. The elements are a part of me, within and without.
Sometimes the blessing is to be able to collapse at the end of a hard day hiking and lie in the fresh grass or to finally get warm burrowed into the depths of your sleeping bag, wearing every stitch of clothing you possess.
Sometimes it is a sleepless night as the thunder booms, and the wind roars like a freight train, pressing the fabric of your tent against your face with every gust of wind, hoping that you will not be carried off in the howling ferocity. At times like this, there is no hiding or pretending; there is only the truth of the storm. Each moment feels like a lifetime as you wait for the storm to pass and the sun to rise, and yet you have never been so alive, so aware, so fully present.
Perspective shifts in Nature. Life becomes very straightforward. All I need to do is BE, experience the wonder around me and the wonder of my Being. I smell the water, hear the call of the loon, feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. I listen to my body in new ways. I sense the physical strength build in me each day as I walk the hidden trails of the wild ones and feel the spirit of the bears, wolves, and deer who have traveled the path before me.
Once, I caught a glimpse of a chocolate brown caribou, flowing like mist through the trees, and saw his grace and power as a reflection of my strength. I knew that I was whole and knew that I was enough and that my presence, like his, was a blessing.
When I am still and quiet, the small birds will gather round, flitting and flying in the tree above me, offering their chatter and life and I see the beauty in their noise and joyful living. I am reminded to live as they do, in joy and life and energy.
Other World Power Calls
As I drift to sleep in the gathering twilight, I hear the hooting of the owl. I feel the power and mystery of the darkness and the unseen worlds. The owl calls me from across the thin boundary between this world and the Other World and I know we are not separate. I feel our connection through the Web of Life, alive and thrumming, weaving us all together in the Dance.
In the bright sunshine of mid-day, I cross a meadow exploding with wildflowers of every shape and color. This overwhelming abundance lifts my heart. It is such an expression of beauty, of love, such a gifting from the Earth and I know we are like the flowers – each unique and beautiful – each offering a gift to the world through the expression of our Being.
I stand in the meadow, encircled by soaring mountain peaks and my heart expands. Love and gratitude for this place, for this Earth, for this experience, fills me to the brim. No shame, no fear, no worries or doubt encumber me here. My feet hurt and my knees ache. Even though I am hot, tired and thirsty, I am enthralled. I feel alive, loved, expanded, and blessed.
I am grateful
Nature has tremendous power to heal. She brings us fully into the present and offers us an abundance of gifts. You do not have to travel into the heart of the wilderness to receive these offerings. Smell the rain, feel the wind, buy flowers for your kitchen table, talk to a tree outside of your window. Feel the rhythm of the days and nights, the wind and weather and know that you too are a part of the shining beauty of the world around you. We are One. Offer your love and gratitude to Nature and receive the love and gratitude that lives in the heart of the natural world.
Peace and Blessings of Nature be yours, now and always,