Last fall, I was given a gift many only dream of, and I am still sitting in awe at what that month has taught me.
Late October through November of 2020, I traveled with my partner across the desert. Literally. We visited six states in five weeks traversing over 5,000 miles. We traveled in our van (a truly amazing vehicle that kept us safe and warm for many nights), staying outside as often as possible and close to the elements.
Being in nature for an extended period of time was life-changing. I have never spent this much time outdoors, I felt my body relax into a natural rhythm, an inner stillness and peace washed over me that lasted the duration of the trip and is still with me today.
Throughout our travels, we experienced dry Arizona heat, freezing Colorado nights, a snowstorm in New Mexico, sunrises over the Grand Canyon, sunsets in Death Valley, more hot springs than I can count, and deep, inspiring messages from all of the beautiful places we had the (truly blessed) opportunity to visit.
Since being back home, working my 9-5, and taking on private clients in my counseling business, I have found it difficult to stay centered in that feeling of connectedness of all things. To be centered in the elements. Feeling the sun, wind, rain, snow, heat, cold—all of it. Feeling alive. Inspired. I miss it.
I am grateful for what that time taught me; it showed me there is a better way to live. One in harmony with nature that soothes the soul and inspires the mind. I’m now in transition as many of us are, finding a way to balance what fills my heart with what pays the bills. A tricky dance we are all learning in these rapidly changing times.
My partner and I recently visited the Truckee area for a weekend trip, feeling called back to nature despite the freezing temperatures. Political unrest and chaos of these modern times had us packing our van and ready to get back to the wild.
I wrote this poem during that trip. One morning, I woke up early and bundled up, walking two miles down a narrow road lined with towering trees. The wind swept through them, causing them to swing and sway; the chilly air reminded me just how much I’ve missed this! I walked along this street in a tiny town with less than 200 residents feeling more at home than I have since our trip. It was quiet and peaceful.
At the end of the road was a small stream and a perfect meditation spot. I took out my notebook and started writing.
This is what I wrote:
We sit in her womb,
and yet we do not know it.
we were born from another.
We think, and because we think,
we decide things have reasons…
They have purpose…
They have meaning.
What if this is a human trait?
This asking of questions?
Something older, wiser states of consciousness,
know nothing about.
The ever-present now,
has no purpose.
It simply is.
It’s the essence of being
If you desire to find the true meaning of life,
you will be lost in a web of your own making.
The construct that is self—
stretching its thoughts forward and back,
scanning all life experience,
With the question of, “Why?”
And yet, it is so simple,
Why can’t we see?
Any human who has come to the home of the heart,
where peace rests and the world is still,
knows that this is a vacuum
All past, present, and future, collapse in and onto itself—
Folding into a single moment.
Here lies the kernel of truth,
one so many are too busy to hear.
That the purpose of life,
Is to be lived.
And the meaning of life,
Is to derive purpose from the lived experience of it,
one that is unique for everyone.
Our minds will have us thinking thoughts are real.
It is the nature of the ego,
who is deeply afraid of death.
And yet to die before death,
to wake from a thousand years of dreaming…
Is true liberation.
A secret your ego keeps hidden from you,
for fear of losing the sensual pleasures of the self-focused mind.
These moments of enlightenment,
happen outside of space and time.
Because they connect with a truth
That existed long before the material world.
~The purpose of life is to live~
So rest your mind, beautiful souls,
and breathe into this moment,
and look for the wisdom in all of the beauty of the world that exists
beyond the illusion of the self-cherishing mind.
Knowing what I know now,
I do not fear death.
I fear a life lived without purpose.
One trapped in the mind—
devoid of experience,
A reality so often succumbed to…
The screams of the drowning,
Die before reaching the surface.