Snow has fallen for six days in a row. I love the quiescence which seems to come upon the land in this dark time of year. It feels right that our human lives should also find a moment of restful clarity during these shortened days of winter’s grip; if only we could let go of the busyness that pursues us; if only the addiction to a fretful and harried existence would release its mortal grip. If only my deepest practice was of mindfulness and peace.
How many of us have believed the lie that such grand indulgence only comes to those who work hard enough to earn such reward? How many put nose to grindstone with even greater force, in the hope they will one day wear down that stone with their flesh? How many simply do not ever know when to cease?
Today was a day to let the sharpening wheel spin upon the wounds of other souls. Today was a day to let the hectic world of human obsession stalk other prey. Today the mountains whispered my name until I could hear nothing else.
Today, worry was replaced by the single track of a back country traveler. Deep into the shadows of a great forest of spruce and pine. Shadowed only by the sound of skis caressing powdery snow. Climbing. Higher and higher. Into the company of decaying granite and great rough-barked sentinals who were already ancient long before the first European explorers came to this land. It is a mindful place; a sanctuary of healing presence where truth is told ... and the lies of a world’s careless rush are undone by a deepening wisdom that only wilderness can share.
It is also in this place I have seen my true sisters and brothers. Lichen and moss thrive here. Today there were tracks of wolves who, some say, should not be this far north...so near the city; I will keep their secret. I have also heard elk bugling in this place, and seen bison and moose, at other times earlier in the year when each day’s light was growing shorter but still greater than in this present season.
Once more, it seems, I breathe a little easier. My soul lets go and freely wanders a wider spiritual landscape unencumbered by the frailties of human boundary and limitation.
I know once more ... for my humanness to survive, so must the wildest places of this planet we call home.
© Warren Lynn; 2001.
Saturday, January 5th, 2001 .... Sabbath Time