Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Giving Back For Nepal..."

"If not you; then who... If not now; then when..."
I don't recall exactly when I heard these words or from whom they are attributed to, but they have stayed with me. Another quote that has invited an adventure of another kind into my life.
We all come up with ideas and goals and such.
Then we typically make one of those 'lists'.
I have made my share of many of these.
M. Bane wrote: "The List...will take on a life of its own, will change everything it touches, take me places I'd only imagined. It will allow me to reach out and touch...something. Something desirable; something mythical...".
But as JP MacKinnon also wrote: "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".
We can reflect upon what these two adventurers and authors are inviting us to think about.
For any 'list' always has room, even for a small act of giving back.
Like giving back for Nepal in their time of most need... DSD

Monday, April 27, 2015

"On Our Shared Summit We Say Their Names....."

A few simple words.
Written long ago.
Gently echoing out.
With respect and remembrance...

On the summit we say their names... 
We safely stand up among the clouds, face the sun or moon, often into the wind, close our eyes, and slowly say their names aloud.
We say the names of past fellows who have journeyed the path with us; the guides and wild place teachers who have shared their hard earned wisdom; the close family and friends who still walk the same trails today.
We say the names of those who are now gone from these particular elements; the ones who knew and accepted us for who we are with all our flaws and faults; especially the ones who have challenged us to become something more.
We say the names of those who made us laugh; each one who shared a tear with us; and for those whose courage and resiliency we believe have been an example for us all.
On the summit we say their names...
By practicing an ages old quiet tradition of respect, of acknowledgement, of remembering, of bringing the past back to the present.
An ages old tradition of becoming grateful. Even in the midst of the most difficult times.
And when we are each gone, when we are no longer among the wild places, but have become a part of them instead, we hope to hear our own name said, then carried along out there among the winds, when someone on a summit says them out loud..... DSD
My appreciation to Conrad Anker for the above image.
Please follow along with Jake Norton and make a commitment of support for all those of need in Nepal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Parable On This Day For The Earth: "The Wise Woman's Stone..."

"A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream... The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. 'I've been thinking', he said, 'I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone'...". Anon

A parable of meaning within the context of the gift of a simple stone.
Like the Wise Woman our Mother Earth gives to us all each moment of each hour of each day.
It is then up to us to then ask, and learn, and become, someone who then gives back and passes forward also...
Have a special Earth Day today..... DSD 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"The Quietest Voices Calling..."

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
I. Kant
There are very few of us adventurers who have not had desires and dreams about, and then actual experiences in sharing the wild places with, our family of wild ones out there.
Our experiences become so very special when this happens, when we see them, especially when we share a moment among them, and so we hope though while elusive that this will happen again and again for us.
Most of us cherish these moments almost as none other, they are so unique, so touching. Then we also often want to reflect upon our own lives through totems and symbols of what these special creatures of the earth represent to each of us.
I have forever longed for such connection with the wild ones, the quiet ones, and have been so grateful when it occurs. We admire their courage, their tenacity & endurance, their strength, their energy, the very spirit with which they live their lives out there. Without asking for anything in return they share with us their wisdom, and the mystery & memories of ageless wonders.
Yet we also know, as ones who wander out there, the risks they too face. We have seen the realities and the impacts of changes and clashes of territory, species, and cultures. We feel it deeply when their hurt voices are raised.
The truth of it is, even with their wild ways and powers we may envy, that they are really the most vulnerable ones, these quiet ones who call to us...
Within their callings they point us towards ways of fulfilling our own longings.
We adventure as we can, they must venture always.
We wander wild places to enhance our lives, they journey wild places because it is their lives.
We are an integral part within both of each others history and future.
They are our most precious ones. They are an essential part of our family, can be our teachers, our guides, our healers. They are the most vulnerable ones. They need us, yet we need them just as much, do we not my friends...
What would the wild places be without our family of wild ones?
We often hear their voices when they call in the dark, when dawn begins, and they can be heard too as we stop and listen and still ourselves when we wander out there.
They are the quietest voices, strong but often scared voices, they call as much to us as they do to each other to listen, to hear, to know, to feel...
Strong as they are they are vulnerable too. We know of such vulnerabilities, as we have touched it through our human frailties and with the risks we experience as we adventure. We are as vulnerable as well for in losing these quiet ones, in not hearing their voices, in not taking those paths that might mean some extra efforts on our part - will most certainly result in the loss of experiences shared with them and horizons only dreamed of.
We can do this, we who wander and adventure. We have strengths that can be theirs, and these quiet ones will then in turn share their wisdom with us, which may a saving grace for all.
As we near our shared Day for the Earth, please listen with me for a while as the quietest voices are calling.
They are calling for us...
They are quiet voices reaching out to each of us.
Let us each respond, in our own way, even in some small way, and then go out there again, to see them, to embrace them, because we really are on one and the same path..... DSD 

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Look Deeper Into Nature..."

"Our task must be to free ourselves... By widening our circle of perception, to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Look deeper into nature and then you will understand everything better...".  A. Einstein

"Quickens Our Own Life..."

"Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way...".  J. Muir

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Earth Teach Me To Remember..."

Below is a reading from the Ute Peoples of North America, as quoted by P.Novak.
A wonderful musing for pondering over adventure, life lessons learned, and experiences remembered, as we approach our shared Day for the Earth.
It could be said that the Ute Peoples were among the first climbers, canyoneers, and rock artists out in these wild lands.
"Earth teach me to remember...
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled by light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me forget myself
as the melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me kindness
as dry fields weep with rain."
Metaphors with such meaning.
Each day a new beginning.
Every day something worth learning.
All adventures within themselves... DSD 

"Our Shared Present..."

"I pack up a rucksack and head off into the hills to pitch my tent, gaze at the sky, feel the wind and rain on my face, the rocks and earth under my feet, and bring my life back to the only thing that exists, the present...". C. Townsend

"Intuitive Understandings..."

"An intuitive understanding of our oneness with the life of the earth and the forces of nature, with the rocks and rivers, mountains and deserts, with the other animals and plants... Must be the starting point...". C. Townsend

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Understanding The Mystery..."

"When you love every creature, you will understand the mystery...".  Dostoyevsky


"In earlier times, people recognized and respected animals as kin, as living relations sharing the earth. Through such kinship, animals were our totems, familiars, and healers long before they were ever domesticated...".  M. Fox

Friday, April 17, 2015

"Laurie's Journey....."

Laurie Normandeau has been a volunteer climber for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center since 2004 and is climbing the highest mountain on each continent for the purpose of raising money for Breast Cancer Research and to honor and give hope to those diagnosed with and battling cancer.
Laurie's "Power Of Seven Project"
Her "Power Of Seven YouTube"
Recently as part of her "Good Karma Trek", Laurie shared a small smile up at Everest Base Camp, with a little Summit Stone.
She wrote: "A special stone journeys to Everest Base Camp. Some may say that a stone is no more than that but, when it has been touched by human hands that have dreams, it becomes elevated to a the status of object with purpose. This stone, hand-painted and sent from Canada to Colorado, traveled across the world and was carried by pocket to a sacred destination, Everest Base Camp. Bringing color and beauty to a wintery, white canvas, it will forever be...more than a stone. It will be the stone that dared to venture. Thanks, Dsd Stones"
I was truly humbled by this and continue to be very inspired by all of Laurie's efforts.....  DSD 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"A Silence That Must Be Heard..."

"Much silence has a mighty noise...". Swahili Proverb
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear...". Ram Dass
There are many voices being raised as we approach the Day of The Earth later this month. 
The one voice...
Often the quietest one, is that which speaks from within such silence.
Nature and our Mother Earth are a silently powerful, yet vulnerable, entity that also must be heard.
Wild place adventures embrace a silence that must be listened closely for too...
Why is our quiet time of musing in nature of such value?
Pythagoras said, "Learn to be silent. Let your mind listen and absorb".
When we wonder in this way, we come closer to discovering our motives; our own personal why's.
When we ponder such, we begin to then create meaning.
These become the very essence for our motivation - for why we go, and for what we do out in the wild places...
Then in understanding what as Nietzsche wrote, "Our greatest experiences, are our quietest moments".
We will then stand up for, and protect, that which we see as important and at the foundation of our intentions and meanings.
All of this provides us with a sense of true purpose.
And that is much to gain from the silence of a quiet moment of musing out there.
A silence that must be heard..... DSD 

"That Which Nutures Us All..."

"To the Four Legged Ones, who know wilderness as home and teach us how to live there; To the Winged Ones who see the larger picture from above... To the Plant People, who live the bloom of life constantly; to miraculous Water, who keeps life flowing... To the Stone People, who ground life with ancient wisdom and mountains of beauty; to the Earth, who holds and nurtures us all...".  Stephen Lyman

Monday, April 13, 2015

"Shared Sunsets..."

"Some who have observed bears in the wild speak of them sitting on their haunches at sunset, gazing at it, seemingly lost in meditation." J. Masson

I have always so loved this quote.
It reflects upon so much yet to be understood and the words resonate with such wonderful meanings...
That the Great Furred four legged Ones also share in the beauty and moments when meditating and appreciating a quiet, wonderful sunset, is a metaphor for all we need to know at times..... DSD 

"All Spoke The Same Language..."

"In the very earliest of times, when both people and animals lived together on earth, a person could become an animal if he wanted to, and a animal could become a human being. Sometimes there were people, and sometimes animals, and there was no difference. All spoke the same language...". Author Unknown

Friday, April 10, 2015

"Amidst The Quiet....."

"After a long day of walking in the mountains, the ancients sat alone and in the quiet...". Deng Ming-Dao

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Now calm and vividly remembering,
Every single step of our long journey.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
For a very challenging mountain had been chosen,
Knowing we would then embrace all then wildly given.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Atop the summit of a further elusive mountain,
Being present for all of that which has happened.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
After a descent as challenging too,
Then so tired, and now safe as well.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Amazingly welcoming was that mountain,
With such adversity and then those teachings.

In the stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Having shared in those many precious gifts,
Meditative forever moments nourishing our very being... DSD

Dedicated to those wonderful wanderers who are out there still, Adventuring For Another Reason. 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

"A Communication With Nature..."

"I came to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our Stone Age forebears possessed not only incredible strength, but also a consciousness and a communication with nature that I could only vaguely comprehend. I'm sure that I could never completely understand this consciousness, but I could come closer, as I spent more time out here...".  J. Turk   

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"Greater Than....."

"Why do we believe we are greater than...
Greater than the Bear whose strength is unmatched, the Wolf who understands more than we know.
Greater than the Eagle which views all from above, the Rabbit that quietly watches us pass by.
Why do we believe we are greater than, when we more truly are of the same family...
They are our Brothers, our Sisters, our Elders...". 
GrandFather, Mountain Elder

"Nature Reminds Us..."

"Nature is thrilling - its solitude, its peace.
It is spiritual.
Nature reminds us of who we are and how we fit into the web of life...". 
Bev Doolittle 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

"Grey Wolf's Gifts....."

"Find your places of power; where you become part of the magic. Return there many times; enjoy your experiences - then give back to those places...". 
"Elusive lessons hold the most to be learned...".
"Remember... The gifts of the four directions. The East is the new day, renewal, innocence, hope, joy, and new beginnings. The South is learning, preparing, strength, sensitivity, goals, and reflection. The West is the unknown, of dreams, meditation, going within, and a place of testing. The North is about wisdom, moderation, teachers, elders, fulfilment, and memories. There is no ending in the journey of the four directions...". 
"You will find more in these mountains than climbing...".
"You will not find all your reasons in these mountains or on those lakes. What you find out there you had within you all along. These places are just a trail towards those lands inside of you that have yet to be travelled...".
"The symbol for what drives you, for the source that moves you, in many cultures - is fire. Your energy, your power, your enthusiasms, are all fire and flame. Read the coals and discover what you need...".
"Collect experiences, not things, for that is what will truly nourish you...".
"Meaning is relative - your choices, where you journey, what mountains you climb, what rivers you paddle, the day you do so, the weather, your energy, solo or with partners - all relative elements that contribute to different meanings. Who is to say which is more meaningful, which has more value...".
"Yes, there are sacred things. A pine cone, a feather, bones, a herb - or even one of your stones. All are sacred because of the deep meaning given to them. Sacred things help you focus; yet consider where their real source of power is...".

Thank you, Wild One, especially for, "Let the mountains and the waters themselves be your guide...".  DSD 

"Whom Was Watching Who..."

"Allow mystery, which is to say to yourself, 'There could be more, there could be things we don't understand'..." B. Lopez
"The Bella Coola Indians believed that someone tried to change all the animals into men but succeeded in making human only the eyes of the wolf." B. Lopez
"If you could be an animal, what animal would you be? Answering that question creates a powerful personal metaphor." Grey Wolf

I once was able to watch a grey wolf at play when out on an adventure.
This animal was a mystery in motion to me.
At that time I knew so little about them, and yet found myself so very impressed by its grace of movement and its playful behavior.
When it finally looked over in my direction and met my gaze, there was a moment there, where I wondered whom was really watching who..... DSD 

Friday, April 03, 2015

"Then It Becomes Magic....."

"If I am hiking along a ridge with my mind somewhere else, then the rocks and grasses between my feet are just rocks and grasses. But if I am mindful, curious, and observant enough to stoop down and pick up one stone because it has an unusual shape, then it becomes magic, not just for me but for everyone around me... If I go one step further and grind up some pigments to make ochre dyes, paint the stone lovingly, and set it on the mantle as a reminder of this hike, then the magic has become a prayer for the survival of my tribe...".  J. Turk

"Keepers, Holders, And Bearers..."

Ancient legends tell of these stories, and the Elders of many lands speak to their truth...
At way points within all our histories, some of us - maybe even in past lives so the stories say, became the holders, the Keepers of the Stones.
These were, and still are, positions of responsibility and respect. Sacred stones were often those needed for flint and fire. Many other such stones held images upon them of great value to the persons and their group, for the stories they held within. Still other stones were themselves of singular importance for memory & meaning, considering who and where and when they were discovered. Thus they became so very cherished by their holders.
We each are Keepers of such memorable stones in our adventuring lives...
As we each wander, we also become what is now reflected in and represented by, the more current meaning of these legends - as the bearers of the stories themselves that all such 'stone' experiences represents...
We are all Keepers, Holders, and Bearers, my Friends... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to those wonderful 'Partners In Placing' who share in the smiles all along the way. 

"The Most Beautiful Stones..."

"The most beautiful stones...
Have been tossed by the wind,
And washed by the waves,
And polished to brilliance,
By life's strongest storms...". Anon