Saturday, May 20, 2017


When I go hiking and backpacking I am usually slow. Very. Freaking. Slow. On many hikes I will average about one mile per hour.

This is because of two things that have nothing to do with whether or not I am out of shape. One reason for my slow pace is that I like to take lots of photos. On a day-long hike I might take three hundred to five hundred photos. A blessing upon us from the digital camera gods. I love digital cameras and have pretty much figured that they are one of the finest benefits of the computer age.

The other reason I move so slowly is that I stop very darned often to meditate. As soon as I see something that I feel is beautiful or noteworthy or peaceful, I will halt in my tracks and contemplate it. Some people refer to this type of thing as "Zen" or "meditation" or "transcendence" or something of that type. It's not a religious experience for me, so I prefer to think of it as, and refer to it as, simple meditation.

It's probably the main reason that I go out into the wilds to find solitude.

One of my pals likes to visit Yellowstone National Park where he will plop himself down in Hayden Valley just to watch the bison for hour after hour. He finds it soothing, peaceful, restful. Similarly I can find such feelings in almost any wild, quiet spot where I go to separate myself from the drone of modern society and its never-ending swell of machine blather.

And are a few images of things that stopped me in my tracks. Call it zen. Transcendence. Meditation. I don't care what term you use.

Moments of thoughtful peace.

A testament to a struggle of life in a hard place.

A dab of alien color amidst the chlorophyll mass.

A path, bordered by native grass, two thousand meters high.

Mother Nature unfurls her flags of green.

I lived, I died, my corpse lingers.
Escape the cities. Venture out. Sit and listen. Watch.

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