Friday, February 28, 2014

"Of Gold..."

"I look at myself, and see an old stone. I look at my friends, and see gold...".  Anon

"My Walking Stick..."

"As I was shaping my walking stick to fit my hand, I started thinking that it resembled my life...".  Anon

"A Lot Like The Trail..."

"As I looked back on the years of my life, they seemed a lot like the trail...".  B. Irwin

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"An Ancient Custom..."

Mountaineers have often had a custom of passing forward small mementos for positive attitude and memories of altitude along to others - as have many other adventurers of all elements and terrain I have met out there.
Many years ago, I also became aware of a similar manner of doing things like this from one of our Outward Bound Instructors.
Such ways of behaving, of giving, often have their wonderful origins shrouded in much history, mystery, and mists...
They seem to evolve from practices and performances based on accumulated experience of what works well. From ways and means by which we celebrate moments like these, and from within the intense rites & emotions that result.
Customs like these are traditions handed down from one to another, in the belief that such transference carries real meaning. We want to share with others a certain something, even a small symbol, for what has touched us deeply when so far out there...
Our Outward Bound Leader said it was an old, likely ancient custom, among the adventure Mentors he knew, his own past course Instructors, and other wilderness Guides embraced all along the way.
What he passed forward that day was a very old compass.
It was up to the group who was to receive it. We chose one who seemingly started as our weakest member, but then became our best navigator.
The symbolism of that compass, that key to journeying among the elements, was not lost on us...
The metaphorical, even mystical aspects of finding ones' way, held great importance for the young and eager new adventurers we were to become.
I could see in the eyes, of both the one who passed forward that old compass, and also the one who received the gift, about the depth of meaning this ancient custom had created in those moments.
This taught us all something none would likely ever forget - old, ancient customs... Then new traditions and inspirations..... DSD

Dedicated to Outward Bound

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"An Allowance Of Time..."

"The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time...".  Thoreau

"Adversity And Truth..."

"Adversity is the first path to truth...".  G. Byron

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Of Trails....."

Hiking trails, canyon trails, forest trails.
Trails of water, windy trails, trails of stone.
Trails to summits, trails we share, some trails alone.
Unknown trails, then trails of memories, all going home...

Distant trails, trails without, quite elusive paths.
Trails we see, some we feel, all we know.
Rocky trails, trails of mystery, endless journeys.
Trails of awe, trails within, always calling...

Sunset trails, trails of mist, such hidden veils.
Trails of trial, then of laughter, all for smiles.
Forever trails, trails up high, so very far.
Trails of meaning, trails of spirit, all they are..... DSD 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones..."

"I do not ask to walk smooth paths nor bear an easy load. I hope for strength and fortitude to climb the rock strewn road. Give me courage and I can scale the hardest peaks alone. And transform every stumbling block into a stepping stone...".  G.B. Burket

"Truth And Beauty..."

"What are your mountains? What ideals do you aspire to? Leaning back, looking inward she says, 'Truth and Beauty'. Of that, Truth is definitely higher. But be careful, for as you near any summit, the way becomes steep and narrow, as mountains are apt to do, and increasingly difficult...".  J. Auld

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"The Ultimate Goal..."

"Even if my day doesn't go quite the way I planned. I try not to lose sight of the ultimate goal: having fun...".  P. Croft

"A Single Question..."

"Whether our path on any given day is clear or rocky, the real and only measure of our achievement can be found in answer to a single question, 'Have I done my best today?'...".  D. Millman

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"A Winter And Summer Summit Stone..."

A good friend, time out with each other, then a gesture and a gift - reflecting the many shared experiences we have had...
This was to acknowledge his special chosen objective. A winter climb we had enjoyed before. A route safe to scramble, even after freshly fallen snows. It was late in that season, where we could have fun with the remaining winter splendour among gently warming good conditions.
The snow became like welcoming stars. The mountains and valleys like endless beautiful artistic imagery.
I had painted just that kind of wintry scene, mirroring his chosen mountain, upon a unique little cobblestone. This after 'mixing in' some elements with the paint, that would be meaningful for him as well.
He so appreciated this small touchstone. A reminder of our shared adventure that day.
Then, years later, I quietly took that stone back. We were planning to return to this same peak, but in the midst of a warm summer. So I painted this new scene over my initials on the back of his Summit Stone. One side still with that original old wintry memory, the other with the same mountain now under a summer sun.
After getting to the cairn first back then, I returned his stone there. Then moved away to put on my fleece, for a snack, and some rest.
His reactions to re-discovering his Summit Stone once again were unforgettably wonderful. The shared feeling timeless and very special.
So long lasting connections, seasons over long amazing seasons, within such forever moments we each make out there, don't we my Friends..... DSD

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"The Most Fun..."

"The best, most successful adventurer, is the one having the most fun...".  Anon

"Give Me Truth..."

"Rather than money, rather than fame, give me truth...".  Thoreau

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Ancient Echoes....."

From where ever they call, we at first may not know.
So very old they are, such elder lingering whispers.
Far away they seem to be.
Quietly, softly, spoken.
Resonations of real vitality and spirit.
Reflections too of so much more.
Than just simple sounds alone.
Long have they clearly journeyed.
Waiting yet for us to hear.
Crossing our paths as we begin to understand.
For our own echoes they actually are.
By their very elemental nature.
Ancient echoes of our true selves.
Whom as adventurers we will become..... DSD

"Stand Like Stone..."

"Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another's troubles. Courage in your own...".  A.L. Gordon

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"To Know One's Self..."

"Not to have known... either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one's self...".  K Gibran

"After A Journey..."

"We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves... After a journey through the wilderness which no one can make for us...".  M. Proust

Sunday, February 09, 2014

"What Was Said, Then What Was Sensed..."

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 

In memory of D.P.

"Insofar As..."

"When it's all said and done, the things we achieve are of passing value. So we climb a mountain, or we run a distance that we have designated in a time system we have made up. So what? Really, these things have no objective value in themselves. It's only insofar as they change what we are within that they have value...".  L. Dexter

Saturday, February 08, 2014

"We Found Our Way Among The Mountains..."

We eventually found our way among those elusive mountains,
Our path was clearing through the valleys and forests too,
The rock became inviting with the mists opening up slowly,
For we knew our course now to be meaningful and true...
As we made our way beyond seemingly endless high passes,
While we wandered those far and so distant wild places,
We discovered horizons and rainbows of awe and wonder,
Gifting us with beauty and sights very much to ponder...
Then amazingly even more within was revealed as well,
In those unfolding farther forever moments,
Among each and every sunrise and sunset,
Simply, gently, lovingly, as we found our way among the mountains..... DSD

Dedicated to Outward Bound.

"To Beckon Us..."

"Mountains seem to beckon to us, holding out the promise of something on the ineffable edge of awareness...".  E. Bernbaum

Friday, February 07, 2014

"Stones In Oz..."

Last fall, amidst some challenging trails, I was contacted by Shawna M., an Outward Bound Instructor who was to be embarking upon a journey within 'Oz'. Now Australia is often referred to, by those who affectionately embrace its wild nature, as 'Oz'.
A moniker I have always appreciated for its references about magical places.
Shawna was to lead a group of youth upon an adventure experience there. In our discussions she asked about the possibility of having some Summit Stones & Adventure Muses for these young wanderers. I was honoured by the request.
Then humbled as I learned how they were passed forward and enjoyed:
"The students really appreciated the stones and the journey they made to receive them as well as how far the stones had come and the adventures that have already been worked into the stones. I gave them to the students at the top of the highest peak in Australia Mt. Kosciusko. Less of the actual physical climb at that point but a symbol to end their journey. I didn't get a shot of them with their stones but enjoying the sunset we had in front of us on the night they received them. Thank you so very much again. I know it will be something very special for them to remember the trip by. We used my adventure muse quote book all trip and they loved being able to have all the quotes to take home with them as well. Thank you again. I am so grateful for the lengths you have gone to so we could have some amazing little morsels to help symbolise such a journey for these young men."
So, on a journey in a place of magic, awe, and wonder - some smiles were passed forward in the spirit of possibility. Yet once more, again and again, more within was discovered by those who endured and far wandered..... DSD 

"Personal Constellations..."

"In our lives, we must all navigate. We must choose our course and walk our path well... The wise person creates a personal constellation and navigates unerringly by it...".  Deng Ming-Dao

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

"Momentum From The Inside..."

"There is no greater stimulation for one's own enthusiasm than self-determination... Motivation is momentum from the inside. The critical dimension of self-motivation includes mind, spirit, and body. It controls the will, stokes an inner fire, and lets us do things completely... Motivation does not fall upon us. It is hidden in all of us. It only has to be awakened. Motivation is like bottled, concentrated energy. It is stored for a long time as expectation, hope, and dedication. I know that the strongest motivations come from the inner depths of the soul...".  R. Messner

"A Wide Canvas..."

"Climbing... offers a wise canvas upon which to paint adventures. The mind is working, the body is working, and the spirit is working to get up this puzzling piece of rock. The same elements, I have found, exist in running rivers... tell of magic in that moving water, and its many gifts. Gifts of beauty and adventure, of battle and achievement, gifts of joy and skill, of the pride of mastery, gifts of solo endeavour, and of rich companionship...".  R. Robbins

Sunday, February 02, 2014

"Compelling Conversations..."

There are always energetic, sometimes quiet, yet resounding conversations that unfold within our adventures.
There are also many ways to express ourselves out there. Exchanges of meanings and messages, reflecting all of our efforts and willingness to endure. As adventurers we all so hope to join with such mysterious, subtle exchanges within nature.
Canyons always call softly to us.
Storms forever tell their own stories.
Summits speak quietly, many times through their memorable symbolism.
Valleys give voice to our dreams.
Waves upon an open ocean provide words describing our hopes.
Coastal coves are found chanting such invitations as well.
Islands enthusiastically inspire many different  communications.
Sunrise and sunset are always moments for sharing even if enjoyed in solitude.
Northern lakes have phrases all of their own, whose dialect changes as one season blends into another.
Then expansive deserts describe why all of this is so important.
I ponder such compelling conversations often out there...
I remember being first invited to do so on Outward Bound. We were asked to listen. Simply, closely, quietly, listen - for the messages that would always eventually and surely be found within the wild places. Subtle affirmations that would tell us what we each might need to hear, what every one of us seeks to know, about what many then need to do...
What then is expressed is for our own ears. What will now manifest reflects our personal dreams.
Later this year I plan to climb a very elusive mountain. Pausing at certain waypoints along the ridgeline and near the peak as well. To listen for the murmurs I know will be there. At the summit I will listen even more closely for the whispers upon the winds. Such compelling conversations these are. All reflecting echoes of our ancient selves, and then who we all still hope to be.
What amazing languages we all learn as we adventure, don't we my Friends..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to Beth & Robert Ramsey, and his Father In Law.
~Solvitur Ambulando~

Saturday, February 01, 2014

"Out There Beyond..."

Out there beyond those many waypoints we each now know too.
We discover wonderful wild places of another kind as well.
The ones we then so softly share about with one another.
Within our quietly subdued and awed voices.
We realize for certain that they are there.
For we can sense them among our developing confidences.
Then we truly feel them within those stirring emotions.
Out there beyond those beginning steps.
So much further than those initial trails.
Are the paths towards that internal elemental terrain.
Our personal wild places of no regrets.
Among such endless moments and adventure joys..... DSD 

Dedicated to those wonderful wanderers who are Adventuring For Another Reason this early year's season.

"A Life List....."

"A Life List is, in the end, nothing more than a tool to look back on our lives and consider how we spent our brief moments on Earth. And what if, in those final breaths, you realize - I never gave anything back...".  J.B. MacKinnon