As I sit and think about a life lived well, the first thought on my mind is always, connection. A connection to the land, to self and to all the cycles that collide and participate together in a cosmically bizarre and beautiful way. This evening I have climbed up one of my favorite mountains. I stop partway up just simply to sit and be for a minute. I have never stopped here before and am excited about the tipping of the sun over the western Sawtooth range. As I settle in, I close my eyes to see things more clearly. I shiver and rub my goose pimpled legs as the mountain breeze whirls around the granite boulder I have perched upon. The air is stiff with scent of storm and earth. A smell that aches in desire of relief and a feral yearning to roll ones self in the scent of it all. Just one step closer to that wild connection.
I notice a shift in the wind as my loosely braided hair whips around my sun kissed face and neck.
A taste of salt and soil.
Of day and night.
A waxing and waning of sorts, as the days highs and lows puzzle their way through my mind. I decide to set those thoughts free, as tonight I want to be free to float, as if I am a traveling seed pod simply riding on the current of wind and spirit.
The clouds are dark and stormy.
Fast moving and dense with motion and power.
Nature desires release.
As saturation is reached, a down pour occurs.
Energy moves from high to low.
Trees grow from small to tall.
The sun travels east to west.
The sky is free to be.
Purple, yellow, orange and blue.
I think about painting the transition of sky over mountain tops when I return home to my little mountain meadow. I sense the clouds shifting overhead and think it is time to finish the climb to the top. I decide I have to go up, before I can return back down. The last bit to the top of the mountain is lost as a rhythmic habit of footsteps. My mind is caught on the play of three birds in this stormy sky. These animals are connected to one another and to the land. A connection intrinsically one with survival and life. I then realize, just how similar we all really are. It is all one can really hope for, is a life lived well.
A life connected to the land.
To each other.
And, to the greater good.
I spent a few days saturating myself with my natural surroundings. I suppose I am closer to lichen than human, as I knew I needed to head to the forest and the high country to feed from that alpine energy. A place wild and free. A place untouched by the hum and drum of daily life. A raw and natural beauty. A place I call home.
A wordless description of what re-saturating my spirit looks like.
I like to travel alone. I enjoy experiencing the natural world in a private and intimate setting. I stop often to smell, touch, taste and experience my surroundings. I lay down on the bed of lichen, and watch the chipmunks frolic in the ponderosa pine tree crowns, a movement of ease and play. I like to stop and gather the cedar fronds to make bundles for the ride home, an aromatherapy reminder of my little forest life. A knowledge of nearness, and a saturation of being.
I like to fill my rucksack with curiosities, often returning to camp with an evolution of the forests’ natural history. A cone here, a dangling wolf lichen there, a fallen ruffed grouse feather tucked into my braid, and a handful of newly turned salmon berries for my morning fare. I liken solitude to an evening spent with a good book up high in the mountains. I make a place for the giant trees, Orion’s belt, the mountain marmots and my freshly caught trout at my picnic table of fallen log and pine needle seat. As the sun crests the ridge, and makes its’ journey westward to set, I pile my gathered firewood and create myself heat. The dogs and I stay close to the energy, sipping whiskey and reciting memorized poetry. We soothe our souls with the knowledge of reached dreams and wayward visions.
A life never stops being lived.
A love never stops growing.
And growth never stops providing.
I liken myself to a forest. A spirit shrouded in green, a creature with heart central to life and one with a pulsation of chlorophyll to feed from. An ability to grow from simplicity :: sun, water and soil. I liken myself to a forest.