As I continued on – A walk in Gunpowder Falls


It began innocently enough… I’ve walked this path many times before, casting my burdens by the wayside as I walked.


It was the calm before the storm…  And it was apparent that I was the only person along this stretch of the park, I walked without any sense of urgency.

I placed my gloved hands inside my jacket pockets to keep them warm,  after a few minutes I discovered that my normal route was flooded and frozen over.


What to do?

I walked gingerly and listened to the ice buckle and crack under my feet. It eventually gave way and I gave a silent thank you to waterproof boots as I continued on.


I was at this point in the trail when I reached the solace point.


The forest enveloped me in her icy embrace that I was impervious to, thanks to my internal thermal garments.

So, I continued on.


The beauty of winter is often underrated, as the cold reveals the terrain for what it is…

The majesty of the cliffs that jut out from the landscape are magnetic.


The power of the stream rushing to my right refuses to succumb to a fate of ice, being still isn’t what it aspires to.


I look up & wonder about the vantage point from the cliff…. I pause, before continuing on.


I reach a point in the forest where I usually ford the rocks to get to the other side only to find that it is covered by a layer of ice…

I see a future on me on my ass, which is a deal breaker.

No options, so I continue on… Discovering a path to my left.


I’m not ready to turn back because I haven’t acquired what I came here to get. I look upstream to see if there is another way across.


I follow this path and I kick  myself for not discovering this route previously…

And… I continue on.


The sound of the water rushing by insulates me from numbness spreading into my fingers.


I’m compelled to reach back to grab my camera, rabidly removing my gloves to snap pictures as I continue on.


The rush of the water is growing in volume… Filling my ears with the splendor of the sound.

So I continue on…




I wasn’t prepared for what was over the hill…

Undaunted, I continued on…



Here lies another set of waterfalls that I was oblivious to… I made my way down to the stream and absorbed the divine. My appendages weren’t cold, but were pulsating with the warmth of divine intervention.

I didn’t want to continue on…

But I did.


The icy embrace of winter made its presence felt as I continued on.

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How had this segment of the park slipped through my fingers after all of these years I wondered.



As I walked, I felt free, unburdened, unencumbered and I felt a smile creep over my face.



And I continued on…

Content after finding what I was looking for…

A slice of solace, piece of mind, a hug from the Almighty.


I’ve never walked alone …


Often… I’ve felt as if I was alone to sort out the conundrum that life saw fit to scatter at my feet.


But… Just when I was resigned to my fate and accepted solitude as my burden, I saw the manifestation of my faith in the distance.

And I took heart in the realization that I wasn’t alone.


Then… I lost the grace that I thought was in my grasp… Crestfallen.


I labored on.. Only to find that you were only leading me to the shores of my potential ripe … With the expectations and the blessings that you mandated me to reap.

You were my lighthouse.

Discovering the redemptive power of time

It is often thought that time only goes in one direction, but I have learned, begrudgingly. That time is multi-directional.


I liken time to a bridge that can be crossed in two distinct destinations; but like the bridge, time can be traversed in the same fashion.

Time, is a finite resource that we summarily either have too much of or too little of at different periods in our lives. The static nature of time is something that I have been acutely cognizant of over the past couple of years.


Sadly, I have squandered more time that I care to admit, but I have realized that if I am able to recycle the time that I have wasted into a form that I can use empower my son and possibly others, then time can also prove to be something truly redemptive.

Maybe it is because of the serial affairs that I have had with Mother Nature, walking the winding paths in search of what I have chosen not to see, mainly because of my fear of what the next steps will entail.

The road ahead

The road ahead


Sitting alongside rivers, streams and lakes throughout Maryland in my attempt to make sense of it all – has brought me closer to the confines of my faith – which I assumed had abandoned me, but it was me that had forsaken it.


Being content with letting the voice of solace drown out all of the background noise that passes as my life never fails to be redemptive.

Often, I wonder if this is clarity that I have inadvertently stumbled upon.

Fortunately, I am not naive enough to believe that clarity would come into my grasp this easily – or can it?



Copyright © 2013 ShunPwrites. All Rights Reserved

Sometimes the silence has to be deafening

Gunpowder Falls

Gunpowder River

And here I sat, bewildered at the reality that the swirling demands of my life and what I consider my “priorities” always take shape and come into focus when I’m away from “it” all, sitting the lap of nature. Often I come to the relevation that I need to change course.

I woke this morning with the noble goal of clipping coupons and heading to the grocery store. But, this simple trip turned into something else altogether. I bypassed the grocery store altogether with the mandate of figuring “it” all out, today.

I drove purposefully until I found my way to Gunpowder Falls, these winding paths, trees, assorted streams and the rushing river have served as my psychiatrist countless times over the years.


I inhaled deeply, kneeled down to lace up my boots, after observing the knot I rose to my feet and started walking, with the goal of figuring “it” out all out firmly planted in my head.

I walk until I am unable to hear the world that I left behind me and when this happens, a feeling of peace envelops me.

Making my way on the trail.

Making my way on the trail.

The ground is saturated with the rain from the past day so that I hear each step that I make with a sloshing consistency.

And much to my surprise many of the areas where I would sit engrossed in my thoughts in years past are flooded over, so I continuing walking North.

After coming to section of the forest that I would leisurely walk across to reach the other side, I discover it is flooded, but I am undeterred.

I push on.

I push on.

So, I group all of my items into my pockets and push ahead. I make my way across the stream without falling in, much to my surprise.

Keeping my balance, even though these boots are waterproof.

Keeping my balance, even though these boots are waterproof.

As I continue on the river widens, I cautiously navigate the rocks in the river to make my way across to a subsection of small islands, where I grab a seat to bear witness to it all.


I sit here for over an hour being soothed by the sounds of the water crashing against the rocks. My mind conflicted with my futile pursuit of living life just to be living it, rather than living it with a purpose.

I’ve often heard people oversimplify the journey of life by saying that “We are born to die” but as I sit here I realize that we are born to leave a legacy, to leave the places that we inhabit in a better state than we found it in.

This is in direct contrast to being a taker rather than one who gives and enriches.


An overwhelming sense of clarity hits like a thud.

Solace is ever present here.

Solace is ever present here.

What is it that I am running from that I have to rediscover it here?

I’ve spent so much of my life looking at life as a adversary, angry because it has rebuffed my pleas of friendship when I would have been better served, respecting it as a teacher and being mindful that life is an exercise of living on borrowed time.

Those waters of uncertainty

Mother Nature has always been a gracious host.

Inviting me into her confines, where I am compelled to learn at her feet.

Feeling at peace.

In today’s lesson I realized…

Whenever I’ve come full circle with the reality of what I’ve always known to be true – instead of taking the revelation head on. I chose the path of cowardice – tucking it away in the recesses of my mind, hoping that it will fade away into oblivion.

Sadly, it never does.

More often than not, it comes back with a vengeance.

Facing the waters

Turning my back on “it”


That being said – the question must be asked:


Am I really being true to myself?


Taking it a step further, is it fair to say that if I’m unable to tell the hard truths to myself, then who can I speak truth to?

The older that I get.

The more I come to terms with the sobering realization.


That I didn’t know as much as the earlier incarnations of myself were so unshakably certain of.


In short, I take solace in the fact that there is wisdom in acknowledging the certainty of uncertainty.

There is so much to be gained from the edification of our own fickleness.

Accepting it and taking it head on.

Rather than running or making futile attempts to hide from it.

So, I often find myself walking in the relative solace of nature as a therapy of sorts.

Only to find myself staring back at the reflection in the water, not unlike the mythical Narcissus.

But instead of being enamored with my visage.

I find myself enchanted with the prospect of taming the dual elements of beauty and ugliness that reside within.

Because it is by acknowledging their existence that I can begin to plot my escape from the purgatory of stationary complacency and traverse that long winding road towards higher plateaus.

Enchanted by the ebb of the water.

Enchanted by the ebb of the water.


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