“those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life..” rachel carlson

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A new journey is about to begin for me. Truly though, every moment in time- can be the beginnings of something new. The planning of this embarkment on the Arizona Trail came quite quickly. The truth is, I was falling in love. Falling in love with a beautiful man I met on my ten thousand mile journey and series of wrong turns last summer. The timing we realized was off for this relationship to bloom. So I gravitated to that place where I can become whole again. For it is in nature that I see my place in the bigger picture. Being a student of the natural world I embrace her teachings. I can cry out here, and know my tears have value as they nourish the earth. Out there, I feel the grace of the higher spiritual realms…I feel accepted with no judgement.DSC04379
In nature I feel more and need so much less. The solitude helps me declutter the craziness that my mind has created. As my dear friend JK pronounced..”this trail is only as scary as your mind makes it out to be .”
Our mind. Our biggest enemy. I hope to embrace it.I feel such peace in the solitude that can be found as I immerse myself in the natural world. I hear and see with deeper clarity. I can rejoice in all thats been, and all that will be…without any regret.IMG_5780
I begin to walk April 6. The same day I believe I started the PCT last year. The trail begins at the Arizona/Mexico border and winds its way through the desert and mountains of Arizona, until it reaches 800 miles later, the Arizona/Utah border. I had originally planned on hiking with others. In the past few days however, I realized I need to start solo. To allow strength to arise has become paramount for me.
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It will be a difficult journey in that it will be hot. Very Hot. Water may be scarce. I will have the capacity to carry 6-8 liters of water, weighing in at 2 pounds per liter. I embrace the challenge. My body isn’t 100 percent. But as I was reminded many years ago in Mexico, by an elderly lady, “life isn’t always 100 percent .” I will listen to my body. I have become proficient at it.
My plan is to be more flexible on this trail than others. I will only send out 1 resupply box. I will go with the flow that the trail provides. Stopping when I need, not when I have to. Any words of encouragement or support along the way will be greatly appreciated, as it always is.
I believe that all the joy, the pain..the happiness, the sorrow… and the many loves all contribute to the beautiful tapestry that is woven as our life meanders on.
As Helen Keller poignantly stated..” life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
I walk on…with so very much love….IMG_3454

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“people say we are seeking a meaning for life…i don’t think that is what we are really seeking…i believe we are seeking the experience of being alive…” joseph campbell

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Our desert experience was slowly coming to an end. Ibex Dunes was the most beautiful ending to our amazing adventure into the inner landscapes of Death Valley. There were many things about the desert that captivated me and gave me reason to pause and contemplate. One of the many awarenesses I had out there was the amazing ability of life in the desert to thrive regardless of how little it had. Its resilience in the face of seemingly stark circumstances. When the tiny desert five spot receives the most minute bit of moisture from the atmosphere its sweet flower blooms. The yellow flower of the Creosote bush comes to life …with a slight sprinkling of rain. There is a fish…(I have forgotten its name)…that when the water dries up..it does as well. And when the rain returns…that little fish fluffs up and resumes life. Wow! Resilience…I can relate to this. I often wonder about the pain that so often invades my body. I think perhaps we have gotten weak. I think perhaps we can learn from the desert five spot. We don’t need that much. If we don’t get what we think we need…try to get by. We might just surprise ourselves. In relation to my body pain. It has been speculated by some in the alternative community that body pain may come from a deeper source. Perhaps pain from the heart. SO if I can learn to be in the moment.To love with arms wide open. To toss fear to the wayside. To believe in the greater purpose…. then perhaps the intensity of my body pain will subside.
P1010229 Beautiful color adorned this section of the desert. The smallest of rocks looking like they were hand painted in sky blues and purples…blood oranges and pinks. Absolutely breathtaking and awe inspiring. How does this happen? How do the tiniest of rocks look to be hand painted? Knowing they weren’t led more to the mystery.
We hiked up into an old mining town, and the mine where they recovered talc. We found beautiful carvings in talc…one especially I loved shaped like a dove.
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P1010094I received a message from a person I know in Santa Cruz. He told me my dearest friend was having some major difficulties with his illness. However, he didnt know what exactly was going on. I lost connection. I was afraid for Joey and what was going on. That night I awoke with a tear running down my face. I closed my eyes and asked the universe if I should come home. Upon opening my eyes a star streaked across the sky. I knew my desert trip was over and I must make my way back to Santa Cruz.
I am so grateful to my friends TAJ and Kirby for taking Whynot?!, Atlas and I into their secret haven..the desert. I will go back…again and again. It spoke to me. I listened. I learned.
P1000577 And…I will walk on
With love

“nature’s way here, her process and her moods….correspond to some mood which i find in myself…” Joseph Wood Crutch

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The desert continues to surprise and delight. We spent two days at the racetrack. We were the only human inhabitants. The sky was immense here. It was a very intense bumpy ride. A ride I don’t think I will ever venture on again. But, very stoked for the opportunity to visit this vast, mysterious place nestled back in the desert. A dry lake bed. A very large rock formation on one end which was labeled, “The Grandstand.” It is said that rocks move rather mysteriously across the dry bed… when the ice is solid and the winds strong.It is a very curious place that draws one into contemplation about the many wild features of the desert landscape.
P1000969 We took off early morning towards a saddle that looked to have views on one side of the Racetrak, and the other side of Saline Valley. It was a super hot, dry trek up. But we were rewarded with the multitude of rocks. We have all become very captivated by the geology of the desert.
It was by far the coldest night of our trip so far. Besides my Zpack 10degree bag, I had 2 packing blankets, down pants and down jacket. I was still a little chilly!!
P1000943The next morning we arose early to see the sun rise over the Racetrak as we headed back out. We hiked across the lake first. It was freezing…but super cool. The desert sun had baked the ground. It was cracked and thirsty seeming…I walked for quite a distance with my eyes closed. Giving in to all doubt and fear. Just walking. Listening, smelling, feeling really immersing in the moments. It was awesome. ” It is more than seeing, it is tuning in and allowing the current to connect with ones own … a means to the end of living in front of things and a beginning of living with them…” Jacques Lusseyran ( And There Was Light) I could relate to this sentiment from a man who was blind. I felt more apart of. I declined making judgment about or trying to define that which I was seeing. Without sight I was a part of, and not apart from.
After leaving the Racetrak we drove to a place called Ashford. Ashford was an artists delight. The colors were off the color wheel. The varying shades of purples and greens and chocolate….they were yummy. This place hasn’t stop surprising me. Nothing is as I expected it to be. The nighttime skies here at Ashford completely captivated me. I couldn’t sleep. Watching Orion move across the sky. Visions of those I love crossing my awareness creating a sense of big joy within.
P1010097 Our hike the next morning into the hills and washes of Ashford were stunning. Displays of a grand master artist in every direction. Wandering more than heading in a direction. Inhaling the spirit of this magical environment. Pain wracking my body today. Feeling depleted..however. This feeling of supreme exhaustion in an extreme situation such as this, fills me with life.
“Wind is a meticulous gardner…” I see this in the desert. The wind is a master out here. Creating beautiful structures in the canyons and rock walls. I hear the songs of the wind. I feel the caressing of it against my skin. I am alive out here.
P1010020 “If anything grows old gracefully, it is a desert river canyon…this is grace…which i would aspire to..it’s an open question- how to make something beautiful of the pieces that are left after time does the slow work of the river, giving and taking, taking away.” Kathleen Dean Moore
I walk on
With so much loveP1010025