Is like …

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Life is like a mountain …

Imposing, massive, comprised of many layers and unable to vanquished …

But, a mountain, like life itself

can be traversed and by virtue of this…

Those secrets can be laid bare for those who would dare to make sense of them.

A stream is like life …image

In that there is no easy way to ford it other than moving gingerly and using our lessons as stepping stones to save us from plunging into the swirling depths.

Reaching the other side is a reward in and of itself.

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But like life … Time spent marveling ones ingenuity is time wasted.

Pressing ahead is a stark contrast to the expense of staying stationary with the

certainty

of being overcome by the

actuality

of

eventuality.

Life is motion and moving in constant, concerted motion should be a given, as it always affords a better view.image

As I walk ….

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And still I walk, knowing … With my mind, eyes, heart and spirit open; ready to receive what has been mandated.

Let me hear you… Let the din and the incessant hum of what can’t and won’t be far away from my orbit…

And still I walk, knowing, dutifully searching. Standing on the pier of life, savoring the gift that I have been given.

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Let your presence be all encompassing and omnipresent … Let it echo; reverberate and drown out anything that would dare to challenge it.

Let my footsteps be the white noise on my journey…

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Knowing that as I reach the apex of the journey, the path that you have laid… That I will hear nothing … Other than my focus.

Let … Me; have the ecstasy, the sheer intoxication of completion…

And still I walk, knowing.

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.

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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Sometimes words… Fail. And only the “hushing” does justice

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As I comb through the 200+ pictures of my travels on Hawaii’s big island, I can’t deny the magical quality of the images. Magical in the sense that I can recall the thoughts rushing through my head at the time of taking the picture as I lazily flick through each image in the present.

I sat on these rocks with the ocean lapping under my feet, lost in my thoughts, oblivious to the ebb of time. Realizing that… I never wanted to go back to the mainland.

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Everywhere I looked the lush vegetation waved in the omnipresent breeze lulling me into a willing trance. As if they were asking me, “why would you ever go back to what you left?

If I didn’t know any better I’d swear that I heard “insanity” whispered in my ear by the wind.

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The more I think about it, the more I am prone to believe that the wind may have had me pegged.

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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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Sauntering with Nature…

The world that we live in is toxic at best. In order to have any semblance of sanity is to develop some type of mechanism to cleanse ourselves from that which which wear away at the very core of who we are.  Years ago I found that escape in nature, it is a dumping ground for the madness that is often my everyday existence.

In the absence of noise pollution and the sensory overload of the urban jungle I find peace…

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At first glance you wouldn’t think that Baltimore’s Herring Run Park is polluted and that is recommended that people not come in contact with the water, but it is. Amazingly, this doesn’t take away from the solace that many parts of it holds.

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Gunpowder Falls is one of the most beautiful places in Maryland. It never ceases to amaze me how each area is vastly different that the next. The beauty of how the silence envelopes you, is without equal.

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Looking out at the Chesapeake from North Point State Park is nothing scoff at…

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It was my hope that making the ascent up the step incline of Elk Neck State Park would have a payoff… It didn’t help that I left my water in the car.

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Walking with the Chesapeake  Bay as my backdrop was like walking with an old friend…

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This leg of the walk through Elk Neck was deceptively long… I started second guessing the wisdom of taking this on but, I wanted to see the lighthouse so I continued on.

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Paydirt! Turkey Point Lighthouse! A slice of history, the lighthouse was built in 1833, sitting on a 100-foot high bluff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

 

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Nothing like the Patapsco Valley.