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

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Looking out, looking past and grabbing the realization

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As I stood on the shore I looked out at the horizon, cognizant of the chilled air that was being warmed in my lungs and exhaled back into the world.

Realizing…

That my standing here was a metaphor of sorts.

My looking out at the horizon, past where I stood at the water’s edge.

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Stood something I could see, but it was seemingly…

Out of reach … But, this short-sighted observation only tells half of the story.

Why should I limit myself to constructing barriers to what can’t be done, versus finding ways to traverse those barriers?

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The memory is short and it allows me to forget my triumphs, when my slipping into the icy depths of defeat were but a formality.

But, I found stepping stones when others saw an impasse.

Why should comfort be taken in the penitentiary of “can’t” when “shall, can and will” have more upside?

The journey isn’t far

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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.

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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
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uneven.

The fruits of the journey are wrought with beauty and peril

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Leaving the climax worth it…

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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.

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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.

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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.

Then…

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.

Solace always puts it together

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Gunpowder Falls, Md

Sometimes hearing nothing helps you to hear exactly what is needed.

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Gunpowder Falls, Md

Water has the properties to flush toxins out of the body as well as flushing the toxins out of the mind.

Is it easier said than done? Possibly, but often we opt not to make it a priority.

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But isn’t sanity worth it or would it be too much like right?

Soothing my soul in the best way I know how – The Falls

Rocks State Park is probably one of the most serene places in Maryland.

I often find myself here when my stress load is at its apex. Like I’ve mentioned in my previous writings, water serves as a dumping ground for what could otherwise be the insanity inducing travails of life.

Often, I sit at the streambed and not unlike a file making its way to a Smartphone or a computer… I download, my eyes are like a USB cable as they provide me connectivity with the flowing current of the water.

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Eventually, I break my connection with the water and make my way 190 feet up to a natural rock outcrop that was once a ceremonial gathering place for the Susquehannock, called the King & Queen seat. And I let the wind blow through my person as I survey the life that is teeming below me.

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As I make my way down from the King & Queen Seat… I know I can’t leave from the confines of the park without paying my respects to the Falls.

Kilgore Falls is what makes this area so dangerous to the element of time, as I always lose track of it, sitting at the base of the falls, being covered in the cooling mist.

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The beauty that is encountered on the way is no match for the splendor of the falls. I always make sure to walk slowly, to absorb every bit of the solace. Keeping my ear trained to capture the initial sound of the falls, is an exercise in suppressing the climatic moment…

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As I make my way up the path to the Falls… Each time is like it is my first.

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She beckons me closer and commands that I sit… I can’t resist her and I acquiesce.

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My assorted flings with Mother Nature

 

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Unfortunately, I am not as young as I used to be, but I am as young as I often lie about being.

With that being said, I have no qualms about getting older as it is better than the alternative, of slow decomposition or inhabiting a decorative urn in the form of ashes.

With each passing day of accumulated wisdom, I have come to the realization that this uber-connected world that I make my living in is an extremely toxic environment, I find myself needing deeper excursions into the loving embrace of Mother Nature for the purpose of loosening the tentacles that dull the sense of inner peace that I feel when I’m with her.

I have always had this amorous relationship with water… The sound, the scent of it seemingly washes away whatever is burdening me and often it becomes an act of sheer willpower to peel myself away.

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Mother Nature undoubtedly is a drug, but unlike all drugs… Can you overdose off of solace? If so, I wouldn’t mind being the first.

 

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Mother Nature vs. Connectivity to the World at Large – Round 1

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Call it a contrived overblown figment of my imagination, but I can say definitively that my communes with nature have had a mentally detoxifying effect on my psyche. I shudder to think of the alternative, had I not discovered the rejuvenating properties of being enveloped in the arms of Mother Nature. Would I be ensconced in a straitjacket; uncontrollably drooling from the side of my mouth, while rhythmically rocking myself back and forth or might I be an incessantly angry individual over the slights that the world routinely doles out?

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Our uber-connected existence is a double edged sword, we are forced to engage, compelled to assimilate or otherwise we are left out in the cold. Seemingly, it is the price that we begrudgingly or unwillingly pay for merely existing in the 21st century.

Many of us; myself included, are at the point of no return. The idea of tossing my Smartphone into the swirling tempest of the waters that I am entranced by has crossed my mind a number of times, but at what cost?

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I am tethered to my Smartphone, dare I say that I am not as smart as I would like to think I am without its quad core processor at my disposal. Sadly, I can’t recall much of anything… From upcoming meetings with clients; phone numbers; email addresses for family members, let alone my statistics from my most recent workout.

The million dollar question is this… Are we better human beings for all of the efficiency that technology provides us or are we less human because of it? Dare I say that social media is an oxymoron? As it is the contention of many people that it makes us less social in many instances. We fix our gaze on the screen of our Smartphone’s more intimately than we do our fellow human beings, often we won’t even bother to acknowledge a person within our immediate radius, merely because it is too labor intensive to fire up our vocal cords.

Our technology has a duality in that it has become the proverbial link to our livelihood and in some respects, our identity.

But, as I ponder the answers to these questions and others, the sights, sounds, scent, touch and taste of Mother Nature wipes my mental slate clean… And I scuttle into the escape that is Nature and allow the lull of the water mercifully drown that which was weighing on me and everything is back in balance; at least for now.

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Walking away the worries of the world

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Kilgore Falls which is located in Rocks State Park is in my humble opinion one of the most serene places in Maryland. If you don’t know what you’re looking for you won’t find it.

As I make my way towards the falls and catch sight of; it is here when I start to hear the sounds of the cascading falls. The feeling of pent up frustration from the travails of the day start to recede.

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I plant myself at the base of the falls and soak in the solace of the water hitting the rocks, with my eyes closed I happily start to lose track of where I am. The water misting my face slowly brings me back to reality.

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As I make my way to the top of falls, I find a spot of the rocks to decompress looking down at the valley below.

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A quick look to my right shocks me back to reality and ends my commune with nature… A snake, not just one but two… This was the only picture that I got before I ensured that I was out of range and made my way back down to the land of machines.

Water giving me a piece or is it peace of mind?

The rejuvenating powers of water are often taken for granted, ignored or not even considered a factor. Just being in the presence of it has provided me with more clarity on many of the issues that I found myself grappling with at the time throughout my life.

These pictures feature some of the most serene dumping grounds for the problems that have saw fit to cross my path, only to be drowned in the depths, thankfully.

North Point Park

North Point Park

Rocks State Park

Rocks State Park

Gunpowder Falls - Sweahouse Area

Gunpowder Falls – Sweathouse Area

Susquehanna Valley, a view of the Chesapeake

Susquehanna Valley, a view of the ChesapeakeKilgore Falls

A view from the top of Kilgore Falls

Being soothed by the streams in Gunpowder Falls

Being soothed by the streams in Gunpowder Falls

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My travels down the neck of the Susquehanna

My travels down the neck of the Susquehanna

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