My drug of choice…

Gunpowder Falls is one of my favorite parks in Maryland and appropriately it is one of the places where I get the greatest respite from whatever is manifesting itself as a burden at the time.

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On Saturday I just wanted to get away… From the connectivity and be accompanied by the sound of my feet and the rushing of the river to the side of me.

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I like being in the midst of the park in the winter as I liken it to a sensuous experience of sorts. The leaves have fallen and the landscape is laid bare, Mother Nature is proverbially in the nude.

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Making my way across the rocks to the other side, requires some dexterity that I’ve honed over the years.

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This bridge was an interesting addition, I would typically get a running start and hurtle myself to the other side.

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After making my way to the other side the sound from the river overtakes all else. I knelt down to get a picture of this majestic grass standing tall against the background, refusing to acquiesce to the grip of winter.

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The Pot Rocks area of Gunpowder is probably the most empowering part. If you are nimble enough you can ford the rocks to make it to a group of mini-islands in the middle of the river.

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I often sit here, losing my connection with time and the burdens that drew me here.

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Sitting here… I realize that I breath more deeply than I do anywhere else and I wonder why. Is it that the water has a baptismal effect that purifies that what ails me or is it that this is the place that my burdens go to drown?

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A light sprinkles down on my hat less head as I sit unmoving, transfixed… All is well in the world.

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It doesn’t matter how many time I visit, I always see something different and I never feel the same.

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I make my way up to the overlook and the feeling that I was looking for hits me with a resounding thud; empowerment and clarity, and after receiving this, I pivot and make 1.5 mile walk back with an ever-present smile on my face.

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Grateful that this is my drug of choice.

Being made whole

I have had the privilege to travel the world and the benefit to experience the duality of solace and empowerment.

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I’ve learned that being still, is often the most logical course of action.

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Each time… 

I’ve stood at the juncture of the places, these bodies of water. My pride, vanity and the like was washed away.

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And I was made whole with humility.

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And it is a drug like no other.

The metaphors I encountered on Stone Mountain

In retrospect I didn’t know what I was getting into. I had been wearing a knee sleeve for the past week and the knee was feeling better than it had in a while.

And I couldn’t wrap my head around missing out on an opportunity that was within my grasp.

Georgia’s Stone Mountain was mine for the taking…

So, like I do with any park that I have in my sights… I walked.

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I saw the warnings, but I openly scoffed at them.

Closing myself off from the world that I am walking from is a metaphor of sorts as each time is different than the last.

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Such is life…

Often we encounter something ugly that would leave us inclined to turn around and head in the opposite direction.

Seeing the Confederate flag waving in the wind stirred something inside of me, the ugliness and the subjugation that it personified left my face twisted in a permanent sneer of sorts.

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The disgust melted away as I looked at what laid ahead. I grinned broadly and scampered up the mountainside.

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As I moved on the incline seemed to steepen, the sweat began to sting my eyes. As continued on I found myself drinking heavily from the water that I had packed in my bag.

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Just as it seemed I was getting closer the farther it seemed to be. Maybe the writing was on the wall and I was oblivious to the message that was being conferred.

But… I wasn’t alone, there was a number of people pressing on just as I was.

I watched and procured power from their efforts.

Such is life..

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I reached a point when I saw the last stretch of my journey, it was a steep climb up to the top and I couldn’t deny the audible wheezing that masqueraded as my breathing.

I collapsed on a rock and took in the shade while gulping down a mouthful of water taking care not to waste a drop.

I looked through the branches at the sun beating down on my skin and thought that I was going to appreciate reaching the top more than I initially expected.

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After about 8-10 minutes of questioning my resolve, I got up and forged ahead. Holding onto the rail tightly as I pulled myself up.

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The overlook was tempting, but I stayed on the path.

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So many people engrossed in the effort.

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Reaching the top…

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Now I had to contend with losing my breath because of the awe inspiring beauty that comes with being 1,686 feet above it all.

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I was a little closer to the peace of mind that I always find myself searching for on these walks.

It is a exercise in consistency as I never doubt the presence of God because it is enveloping and all encompassing.

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I entertained the thought of taking the cable car down, but I decided against it.

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I reclined underneath a outcrop of trees and let the solace marinate as I always do.