Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What I Can Do

jean jullien on Twitter.com
The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and I'm feeling quite powerless.

Kids are being blown up at concert halls and small restaurants and I can change my profile picture on Facebook and repost meaningful cartoons but I cannot make a real and important difference.

TBG is finally able to recognize that watching the news in a relentless loop helps no one, least of all, himself.  We both share a certain sense of guilt, a need to watch and show our solidarity and not ignore it and go on with our lives but after PTSD visited last week, in all her damaging glory, we've concluded that the 24-hour news cycle will just have to go on without us.

And so, with Mary, my Yogi, leading the way, forty or so humans of all ages took a Meditative Hike this morning.

The "real" hike, the one with elevation and some rock scrambling, was cancelled.  It doesn't rain that often in the desert Southwest, but when it does, surfaces become slick and hikes are deferred to drier times.

I joined that hike three years ago, and walked to the first check point with Miss Cindy.  With two poles and a friend-who's-also-a-doctor insuring my safety, it was still both terrifying and exhausting.  I never felt that I was in control.

The scenery was beautiful, but I was hardly able to enjoy it.

This time, 
these boots were made for walking.

I strode up these steps with attitude.

I did not use the handrail.

I put each foot down, carefully, slowly, heel - ball- toe, meditatively moving my self onward and upward.  Holding my hands in anjali mudra was too difficult, so I satisfied myself by joining my pointers and thumbs on each hand, splaying the other fingers out to catch the light.....

the light reflecting from all the others making the same journey.

The stones were broad and well secured.

The rain had left puddles in the crevices.

Some tiers took two steps; some were manageable with one long stride.

I was conscious of my entire self moving along, 
rather than concentrating on the individual pieces. 

Those pieces were moving in synchrony without my help.

The waterfall was our reward.
It is a naturally occurring precipice which the resort enhanced to increase the water flow.
By directing the water toward holding tanks, creating a series of burbling ponds along the way,
they can water the golf courses in a xeriscape friendly way.

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort has received all sorts of ecological kudos over the year.
They take their stewardship of the land very seriously.
There are interpretive signs nestled in quiet places.
I stood and read and looked around and imagined the immense forces of the Basin and Range times.
Living on a collapsed volcano top brings tectonic forces home in an up close and personal way.

There was a babbling brook along the path
as we paused to watch the sunlight glisten on the leaves.
 The leaves turn on their sides when it's very hot, saving moisture and preserving themselves for better times ahead.

Bag It!, a not-for profit seeking to ease the fear of a new cancer diagnosis by providing information and folders and charts to help patients and families keep track of medications and appointments and doctors and verbiage.... with a canvas bag in which to carry it all, is all about living the life.

Sometimes that means turning things on their side for a while, until the world manages to right itself once more.  Until that happens, there are always hugs.... from friends and from the trees around us.
It wasn't much.
But it was something.
Our little corner of the world held peace and promise this morning.


  1. Wish I could take a hike like that and get away from it all. I know many of us feel powerless, but we can stand-up to the discrimination of Muslims. I'm sickened by some of the governors in this country saying they are not going to take in refugees. This country is a melting-pot of refugees. Many of us are not natives (my step-dad is through his mother), but even he would be appalled at the blatant discrimination going on. I'm so angry by these people saying that all Syrians are to blame. These people need us now more than ever.

    You may feel powerless, but you have a voice. We can all stand-up for what's right and not let hateful people determine the voice of a whole nation.

    Megan xxx


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