Recently, an old friend shared with me a reflection that they wrote (scroll down below). Reading it gave me a strange feeling that I could not pinpoint. When I asked them about the inspiration for the writing - whether it was a real memory, a dream, or just their imagination, they told me it was based on a real experience that they had while they were hiking the San Ysidro trail in Santa Barbara county long ago, but it also was representative of something else. It caused me to recall when I hiked that exact trail on January 30, 2011. I recall it was a misty, rainy day. There was a strongly flowing waterfall and creek. The hike was 9 miles round trip to the ridge (Camino Cielo Road) and back with an elevation gain of about 3,463'. Overcast and raining most of the hike up, it cleared up just a little and the sunlight broke through the clouds just as we were reaching the summit. On the hike down we saw a beautiful rainbow. Now in the midst of one of the worst droughts in California's history my memories of the long hike are dreamlike indeed. I took a gazillion photos to photodocument the trail (it's a compulsion of mine). As often is the case I skimmed them once or twice, and never looked at them again. Anyone that takes too many photos will be able to relate to that! Well, after reading their reflection I was inspired to go back and look at the photos from that day, and decided to put together this simple slideshow. I thought it went rather well with the writing. The music is a piano & acoustic guitar arrangement of Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune, a favorite song that I used to play on the piano as a youth. I'm dreaming of rain....... *sigh*
July 3, 2015
It is quiet today. It's rained quite a bit, washing away the accretions of muck built up over the past couple of weeks. The weather is ever so cool, a respite from the summer's heat.
I stop, pause, and wonder about my dreams that really are shadowy memories. I long to return to a non-existent place. I wander--like a seeker in exile, forever on pilgrimage.
Long ago, I saw an eagle glide effortlessly over a still valley. I heard naught but my beating heart and marveled at the eagle's confidence as it soared about searching for prey. On the other side of the valley was a sheer granite wall, sculptured by thousands of years of erosion. The granite was hewn by little droplets of water meticulously dripping away for centuries and centuries. Enveloped in silence, I marveled at the sacrament of the present moment. It was pure gift--as is the life I often hate. Then, I was alive, attuned to Reality within reality, to Presence within presence, to the Truth within the Illusion.
Somehow, I lost what I once found. It was as if I was given the Grail only lose it through pain, disillusionment, and neglect.
I accept my dying self. Someday, resurrection awaits. I will be strong again and I will live well rather than atrophy in isolation. I await the perfect moment, when grace abounds and joy surprises.