Sunday, June 15, 2014

"Of Clocks And Compass..."

My current watch worn when out adventuring is a complex little thing.
Lots of options and information can it provide. It also has a small compass on the wrist band too.
Interesting what sparks a memory, and then some musings as well at times, from so far out there...
After attaining a past summit, then tucking myself up in among the rocks, listening to the stories the wind was sharing, and watching the dancing of the clouds - then I ended up just gazing at this watch, and even more so at that compass.
A very long time ago, on one of my Outward Bound courses, while learning the fine arts and crafts of navigation, we gathered around a large boulder.
Then one of our Leaders invited some intriguing discussion.
"Which do you think...", she quietly asked, as she placed both her watch and compass up on that rock, "Which do you think is more important...".
Now that prompted much energetic pondering about time of day & energy, estimates of distance & direction, time taken on routes, even about using the watch to set a course as well.
Then the conversation began a shift to something else we often touch upon within our adventures.
That there is real value in both clock and compass, and very individual symbolism and meanings to be discovered for each.
Having enjoyed other Outward Bound exercises like Your Mountains... Your Life... , and What The Mountains See In You... , we were ready now for sharing about what is our most common ground, the terrain we all journey through - the passage of time over the course of our lives...
You know all those studies that Behavioural Scientists do. They conclude that past a certain amount of money and security, are the aspects of what individually represents fun, freedom, happiness, contentment, and joy for each.
Then what time means and how we spend our time then, becomes the most pivotal factor.
The meaning this has for each of us is fundamentally important.
There are many kinds of time pieces and measures, within navigation and chronology, that adventurers have used historically, and that we seek and choose now.
We sense the meaningfulness of this out among those valleys and up on our summits.
We feel the truth of these ephemeral, seemingly invisible elements, as we do with wind and gravity.
We know the significance and value of time, like when we watch the endless tides, and for direction when we wander our ancient deep desert canyons.
We believe in the reality that our choices about both clock and compass, are what then determines what becomes the times of our lives.
On that Outward Bound course, we all then decided, so many years ago, that both clock and compass have real importance.
Yet in so many moments since, I still ponder how it sometimes still feels like the compass has the edge at times..... DSD 

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