Sunday, June 30, 2013


Here again, then and there, sitting quietly during last light... Watching gentle waves reach out for my kayak, that was pulled further up the beach and nestled by my tent...
It was not about anything that I was doing in those minutes, nor even so much what I may have been thinking.
Rather, it was of those forever moments in between, where those realizations, that sense of farther awareness, began drifting in and then took me away...
At times out with the wind, among the high places too, or as within this adventure out upon the waters, our minds seem to wander even further than our bodies do.
Such wonderful, often surprising gifts, of what our far reaching adventurous perceptions provide for us out there. Especially when we keep ourselves open to developing new awareness. Those wild moments when the light goes on in our tents, when another piece on our wandering paths falls into place...
'I get it now', I said quietly to myself, as I was referring to a complexity out there that also reflected something puzzling from back here.
'I get it...'.
Or, upon pondering, was I realizing something similar but at a higher altitude if you will, of comprehending it. Maybe even, what was within this realization was not something new, but more so - something very old, very ancient, that we only grasp again such moments amidst wild place realizations...
So much more of the mystery to enjoy..... DSD

My sincere appreciation for passing forward your images to share Dear Ones...

Friday, June 28, 2013

"Of Gifts..."

"Whoever knows an island, or river, or mountain intimately - knows at some point, this feeling... It is among the gifts that flow from returning, again and again...".  J. Turner

Time to return yet once more is it not Dear Friends..... DSD

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Phoenix's Arising....."

I am just back in from some distant wanderings, catching up with you all Dear Friends, and as well as about the overwhelming flood impacts upon our Alberta mountain community, Calgary, and others. It is hard to grasp, to understand all of what has been unfolding without a tear or two, and yet, still yet, seeing the beginnings of such spirit and inspiration among all those affected.
This had me musing this day, while reflecting upon my recent journeys, and these present challenges, over echoes of those Phoenix's that always arise from all such adversities...
We all have mountains to climb in our lives it seems. If you ever have the opportunity and the honour to look into the eyes for example, of an organ transplant recipient, as I have many times, then you will have met a mountaineer of another kind. For out of tragedy here arises something very unique, from a personal catastrophe, something truly exceptional can be found.
This is the Phoenix arising, the 'Rara Avis' that is discovered in both the lives of an Organ Donor's and the Transplant Recipients who are then gifted with a renewed life.
I have known adventurers who have undergone these trials. I have also had the exceptional experience of further time with those who have had to walk these same trails due to extremely serious health conditions.
'Rara Avis' is Latin for a very rare person or thing. A very unusual and uncommon event. When something is able to be saved, to be transformed, from such suffering and such tragedy that can occur in any of our lives - that is a true 'Rara Avis'. This is a real life Phoenix that arises from the ashes of these calamities, these many times fatally unhappy events.
I am reminded these days of how Anon wrote, "Each of us is on a climb of a different sort, facing our own mountains, struggling to cross our own rough seas"...
While recently meeting again out upon a shared trail with an Organ Transplant Recipient, and then also with an adventurer who is undertaking their own challenging experiences in support of this person, what I saw were the amazingly restorative connections they have, where through this adversity each has now become revived and renewed...
We all certainly have so very many mountains in our lives.
Those who climb through such adversity, illness, and pain, and then far beyond these severe challenges, can truly say they have summited many of the greatest mountains a human being can experience. As N. Shulman mused, "Everyday all of us have to attempt a mountain of sorts... Those that refuse to give up and are always willing to struggle uphill, can truly call themselves mountaineers...".
Those that then choose to commit themselves to 'Adventuring For Another Reason' in support, know deeply the close connections we can create between enduring within an adventure experience, and the dedication of such efforts towards another even more encompassing cause.
Let's all do what we can to support anyone who is of need right now.
To have done so amidst such distinct adversity is a true 'Rara avis', a real Phoenix arising..... DSD

Dedicated to those enduring service workers & volunteers in Alberta.
Dedicated this day as well to the Canadian Transplant Society , Canadian Transplant Association , Donate Life America , and the US Organ Donor Site .

Sunday, June 09, 2013

"Surrounded By Memories And Reminders..."

Oh, to be encompassed so. To have such memories and reminders all around. Present on all sides of us...
We often have such intense adventure life experiences when we wander. Like when we hike a very favorite trail, passing through both the familiar terrain, and then long years of experiences upon it as well.
We sense how being encircled in such a way, when out among the wild places, is being endlessly gifted with so much.
To be so surrounded by memories and and reminders.
What wonderful forever moments they are...
That day, when upon a summit, as I mused and scribbled these few words, I looked out upon many mountain memories, and even more river and valley reminders.
It also made me think about our den back at home too, seemingly a bit messy at times, with many old guide books, stacks of faded pictures, a lot of little journals & composings, and stones too many to count.
To be so specially surrounded by memories and reminders...
Then, when, we set out again as we always do my Dear Friends, after putting on our worn boots & pack, or readying to launch our scraped up elder kayak, the smiles just come. For the sum total of all of what we have shared in is right there once again, all around embracing us.
Yet, what I think is a key part of this wonderous mystery too, is that in being surrounded by such amazing memories and reminders, after clearly, intensely feeling again what was known before - than we are further inspired as well to envision what is yet to be..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to those who are Adventuring For Another Reason in support of the many who have lost such cherished memories:
Ascent For Alzheimers
Memories Are Everything

Saturday, June 08, 2013


"Over all the mountaintops is peace...
In all treetops you perceive,
scarcely a breath.
The little birds in the forest are silent.
Wait then, soon you, too,
Will have peace...". 
J. Von Goethe

So very many poets and philosophers, were first climbers and adventurers.
We sense why, don't we my Friends.
Dedicated this adventure day to all those who are enduringly Adventuring For Another Reason ..... DSD

Friday, June 07, 2013


"The grandeur of the scene was but softened by the haze that hung over the valley - light as gossamer wonder - and by the clouds that partially dimmed the highest cliffs and mountains. This obscurity of a vision but increased the awe with which I beheld it, and as I looked, a peculiar sensation seemed to fill my whole being, and I found my eyes in tears with emotions...".  L. Bunnell
Dedicated this adventure day to all the Partners In Placing sharing in the grandeur and of smiles all along the way out there. Thank you so very much...  DSD

Monday, June 03, 2013

"Standing Before Us....."

A seasoned teacher yes, an experienced leader for certain, and an instructor for the many adventuring skills we so hoped to learn of course. Yet, also standing before us, within each and every day out there during our Outward Bound experiences - standing before us was a mentor...
The adventure mentorship that was to be shared with us, moment after moment, was gentle yet engaging, subtle yet profound, distinct but allowing as well.
Standing before us as well was an enduring enthusiasm, real energy, focused excitement, and a clear example of who we each wanted to be in so many different ways. Having such a wild place mentor, standing before you as well, waving you forward, gesturing you onward, encouraging you upward, is an amazing gift that is never, ever, forgotten...
This is dedicated this adventure season to all our new Outward Bound Leaders, and to each and every one of my own Outward Bound Mentors, who have passed forward so much to us all..... DSD

Sunday, June 02, 2013

"Where Do We Go From Here....."

Inquiries within ponderings, dreamings among visions, questions asked yet often not needing answers - what wonderful musings wander through our mind out in the wild places...
Many times, certain questions, particular wordings, take on deep depths of meanings over the seasons for each of us.
"Where do we go from here", was the seemingly simple inquiry made by a fellow student on my first Outward Bound course.
It became one of those very fun, intriguing, and memorable things that we often discover, recall, then repeat a thousand times when adventuring. We asked it of ourselves, our Instructors, of the mountains, rivers & valleys, and even of the elements themselves when the winds picked up their pace and a storm began to brew.
We asked it of each other at the end of our course, with smiles, tears, and hugs of encouragement.
I even sensed that our Outward Bound Leaders, when asking this, often also meant it to reflect 'who we wanted to be as adventurers' as we each began upon that life course as well...
In later years, I would find myself asking it aloud, in the very same moment the Mountain Guide I was with, was also saying it on a very challenging climb.
It has been said with frustration when bushwacking and during navigational complications that pushed us so far off course.
Within the maze of some distant coastal islands, during a totally fogged in day, we asked it many times.
Deep in that cave and within those canyons too, we have whispered it to one another as well.
This question has been excitedly posed for me many times, when I am leading some novice adventurers out on their first scrambles.
It is a rhetorical comment I find myself saying quietly too, at the end of the day, upon returning to our trailhead, after a particularly rewarding adventure experience.
Many moments, just in the asking of this question itself - we found all the answers we needed, all the encouragement and inspiration, and that sense of direction as adventurers' we all seem to seek.
So Dear Friends, today I wonder once more, where do we go from here..... DSD

Thank you for sharing your images that have inspired these directions my Friends.