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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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?

image

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

image

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

image

image

image

image

image

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.

image

Grateful that this is my drug of choice.

The quest to elude insanity

Being overwhelmed only requires a modicum of participation from its host, but I prefer not to go down without a fight.

image

I walk until I lose that which plaques me…

image

I saunter along until I find that which has eluded me…

image

And I sit until I’ve gotten my fill. Empowered, cleansed and ready to face a world of consistent inconsistency.

Staying true to the focus

Everything that has its start in insignificance.

Runs the risk and indignity of being taken for granted.

image

Walking along Grays Creek in Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland

But…

Staying true to the foundations of what we are. Allows for exponential growth that can and will boggle the mind.

image

Continuing along Grays Creek.

Accusations of not being majestic enough must fall on deaf ears, if we are to persevere.

image

The Creek turns into a bog...

Listening to the echoes of self expands the boundaries of what we thought we knew…

Teaching us that we know nothing. Thusly, we grow, gaining in power and influence.

image

The Creek finds its beauty

When the clarity hits, we are like the torrential current of a stream. Who, what and why would anything dare to deny?

Our undeniable majesty and power, that was there all along. The only tool needed to expose it… Patience.

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

image

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

image

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.

image

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..

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

So many people engrossed in the effort.

image

Reaching the top…

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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

Calling a time out

I never really started the process of finding myself, until I truly listened.

I walk, unburdened and with a presence of mind that is indescribable, as words fail to encompass the peace that envelops me.

image

Patapsco Valley State Park

Any excursion where I am able to absorb the majesty of a waterfall, is a segue into another realm of solace that I didn’t know existed.

Each one is different, every experience has a different frequency.

These waters have a baptismal power that is invigorating.

I suffer from migraines, but they don’t exist here.

image

At the base of the Falls

image

Overlook at paradise.

My visit to Hawaii consisted of me smiling for an entire week. I was empowered for the entire visit, being surrounded by water… That is unadulterated power and I was infected.

image

I was lost, but I didn’t care.

Often, I journey alone because of this innate need to detox and be selfish. When I am alone in the confines of solitude, I operate on a higher plane.

Unlocking freedom and elements of my sanity on an incremental basis.

Closing my eyes, breathing deeply I often wonder…

image

Herring Run flowing into the Back River

Is this a drug?
Am an addict?

But the presence of God says otherwise and I immediately know it to be true.

Killing time with Mother

It was a stupid question, but it came quite naturally, stopping myself in mid sentence.

What would I do to kill two and a half hours? Continuing this ongoing affair with Mother Nature seemed to be a given.

Once I got my bearings, I made a beeline straight to the nearest State Park.

I’ve found that no matter how many times that I think that I’ve traversed every area of a park that I’ve patronized over the years, I find myself happily proven wrong.

image

I found myself in the embrace of the Patapsco Valley today.

Hearing the river rushing in the valley below, I fought the urge to run towards it.

image

I walked with a deliberate saunter, letting the world behind me slowly melt away.

image

It was a steep incline in some places, I stumbled, but I continued on.

image

image

image

As I made my way down to the river. It was as if I was beckoned to sit at the rivers edge.

As if Mother Nature crafted a seat, just with me in mind. I sat on a rock, in the middle of the river, while sun infused me with a warmth that seemed to download a sense of fortitude that I didn’t know that I needed.

I closed my eyes while my mind took baby steps towards making sense of it all.

image

Before I knew it, the two and a half hours that I needed to kill were breathing their last gasps.

As I make my way back up the valley.

I grouse…

image

Time is never on my side.

Finding what was buried within.

As I back up my old photo’s to the Cloud.

I was drawn to this set of photographs, it was significant because it was during this walk that I wrote my first piece of poetry.

It was a organic act that unfolded without much fanfare.

As I walked through this area of Gunpowder Falls this past December.

I was accompanied by nothing other than the crunching of the snow beneath my feet and feeling as if I was impervious to the elements that seemed to say…

“You will freeze, you will regret not having those gloves that you forgot at home.”

But, I was looking for something that I eventually found.

Peace of mind, solace.

So, I walked.

Discovering a layer that I didn’t know I possessed.

Not to say that my poetry is any good, but it is the act of creating it, that makes me feel empowered and that is more important that any accolade I could ever receive.

Gunpowder Falls

DSC_0680

 

DSC_0682 DSC_0683 DSC_0687

Borrowing a cup of solace

The cascading sounds of water flowing downstream, over the rocks on a mission.

image

To fulfill its calling, undeterred, unhindered, unimpeded.

Far be it for me to impose and take a serving of solace from this place, but I must.

image

Being connected is toxic, draining and hazardous to my health.

The actions that I am taking is far greater than mere insertion, it is soul survival and self preservation of the highest order.

image

Being here is medicinal… Healing the fractured confines of my psyche.

image

As I download my burdens and drown them in the currents, I rejoice in their end.

Why outrun the answer?

image

Sometimes being still and drifting away from that which you feel compelled to find a solution for is the answer.

I’ve realized that “looking” for “it” has not paid dividends.

It is my contention via the humble act of paying attention or the conscious state of “Being Still” that patience will enable that hard sought clarity to come into our respective orbits.

I sat here, shivering slightly, knowing that I discovered something that hadn’t been eluding me, but something that I had run from, willingly.

Now, I need for it to catch up and wait I shall.

The journey isn’t far

image

Sometimes beauty lies in the distance …

Perliously, within our grasp, but yet so far.

The closer we get, the more obstacles see fit to present themselves.

image

Daring you to meet them head on…

Do you cross or stand pat?

While you debate

Those obstacles are

Scoffing at your notion

Of conquest …

But victory is your only respite

The

path

is

often
image

uneven.

The fruits of the journey are wrought with beauty and peril

image

Leaving the climax worth it…

image