Ah Mountains! Providing peace, sustenance, beauty and strength.
They bring a felt sense for me that is very powerful and deeply comforting. I am embraced and absorbed by them. Completely.
The mountains truly and always are a balm for the soul and provide a cleansing for the spirit. I do so love living amongst these sentinels of abiding serenity and power.
“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”
“Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
“The mountains were his masters. They rimmed in life. They were the cup of reality, beyond growth, beyond struggle and death. They were his absolute unity in the midst of eternal change.”
“The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble — to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consume nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.”
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.”
“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”
“Emerald slopes became so tall they touched the clouds, and showers painted diamond waterfalls that sluiced down cliff sides.”
“The mountain has left me feeling renewed, more content and positive than I’ve been for weeks, as if something has been given back after a long absence, as if my eyes have opened once again. For this time at least, I’ve let myself be rooted in the unshakable sanity of the senses, spared my mind the burden of too much thinking, turned myself outward to experience the world and inward to savor the pleasures it has given me.”
Wandering and wondering. Two compelling ways of spending some good quality time.
Some sweet breathing time. Some simple pleasures time. Some deepening into all of who you are time.
Go out with nothing more to do than to be present with wonder, and wander freely, with open heart and mind. Sustaining and fulfilling this wandering and wondering…
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”
“I’d rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than anywhere else on earth.”
– Steve McQueen
I sort of live in the middle of no-where… at least many people may think so. And I’ve thought a lot about that.
But it’s always someone’s somewhere isn’t it? These woods with the tall trees are home to fox, elk, ravens, bear, coyote, wolf, and myriad wild flowers. Life comes and goes in its natural cycle. The days too are in sweet rhythm… the whole of this living system together is complete and vibrant and I feel that way amongst this radiant Life.
Living in the middle of nowhere to me is much like the concept that the Native Americans and this land were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. As if they didn’t exist until they were told who they were by the newcomers.
Yes, nowhere is always somebody’s somewhere. Somewhere special and unique and valued.
This particular No Where is my greatest gift.
Its quiet and wholeness help me find the essence of who I am.
“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”
“You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.”
– Joseph Joubert
“Each and every atom produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony.”
“You can look at disease as a form of disharmony. And there’s no organ system in the body that’s not affected by sound and music and vibration.”
Sound, music and vibration are available to provide a healing balm, an encapsulating immersion, a communion and connection.
The more base our thoughts and vibration the more stuck in lowly muck we may stay. As vibration moves to the higher realms, a lovely sweet level of universal harmony may be found.
So raise it up! Vibrate in the higher qualities using nature, sound, and music to help in the elevating process. The harmony of the universe is waiting.
“Get out into the sunlight — out where everything is — with a vibration that is so dominant that those who annoy you; those who don’t agree with you; those who make your life feel uncomfortable don’t come into your experience, because your vibration — through your practice — has become so clear, so pure, so clean, so in keeping with what you want, that the world that revolves around you just feels like that. That’s what you planned.”
“To enter into the initiation of sound, of vibration and mindfulness, is to take a giant step toward consciously knowing the soul. We need the courage to enter into ourselves with the great respect and mystery that combines the faith of a child, the abandon of a mystic, and the true wisdom of an old shaman.”
-Don G. Campbell
Summertime and the livin’ is easy. And simple. And very sweet.
Feeling the energy of the fully evolved season, we meet Summer head on… then need a rest, a nap, a respite.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.”
-John Lubbock, “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894
From The Sapphire Girl’s August book club “extra” selection, The Art of Doing Nothing, by Veronique Vienne, here’s some sage advice on napping inside (but hammocks under a shade tree are also highly recommended!):
“Recipe for a Gourmet Nap
The long afternoon nap is for sleep connoisseurs – it’s an after-dessert delicacy. To make sure you wake up refreshed, follow these easy steps.
1. If you don’t have shutters, draw the blinds or the curtains. The room should be bathed in a soft, restful glow. 2. Kick off your shoes. Only remove garments that are constricting or that would rumple badly. You want to be somewhat dressed up for the occasion. The gourmet nap is a formal affair. 3. Glance at the clock, take off your watch, and decide when you want to wake up. Trust your subconscious to nudge you when your time is up. 4. Lie down under the covers but not between the sheets. 5. Close your eyes and image that you are in a small boat, about to embark on a short journey. Pull up the anchor and let the boat drift. The water may feel choppy at first, but soon the waves will diminish and you’ll be sailing on a smooth sea. 6. You’ll be awakened by a bump – your keel is scraping a sandy bottom. Drag yourself out of bed slowly, as if you were pulling your skiff onto a beach. 7. Throw water on your face, stretch, open the window. Don’t rush. You’ve plenty of time ahead of you.”
The Montana Folk Festival’s three day gathering of musicians and singers under the big sky has just wound down and what a celebration it was! A jubilant romp featuring diversity of culture, sound and life stories, it was a joyful noise raised up at 5600 feet in downtown Butte, Montana. Six stages with music playing simultaneously presented the traditions of the people musically.
What diversity! From Nakoa Heavy Runner, an Assiboine Blackfeet man, playing a hand drum and chant/singing about life and love to a ten women mariachi band playing everything from traditional Mexican folk (with superb fiddle playing, singing and horns) to Patsy Cline and the Orange Blossom Special – and yes, I said all women! – the only all woman mariachi in the United States. Mariachi Reynas de Log Angeles are pictured below in their stunning traditional purple mariachi outfits.
There was the glorious, soulful expression of gospel by Maggie Ingram & the Ingramettes. Speaking of service, family and love between songs, with the matriarch sitting on stage bearing witness to this testament of song, these women brought such love and passion to the stage. What harmonies and voices! What belief!
Swamp Dogg was a favorite with his rhythm & blues, soul sound, and witty, profound repartee about politics, wars, and being on the wrong side of things (and the cost of those stanches). This man has experienced so much in the world and his music exhibits much of these years of trouble and promise. He later shared the stage with musicians and singers from West African Highlife and The Dardanelles for a talk on how they each created their music called “Song Masters”. Such diversity here, but still as one of the excellent singer/musicians said at the conclusion of the workshop: “we’re not that different after all.” (Matthew Byrne from Dardanelles, a traditional Newfoundland band made up of superb, young musicians.) *Swamp Dogg is pictured below in canary yellow – he wore it well!
This festival is Free! and allows all ages to absorb themselves in the stories of myriad cultures told in song. The festival proved to be a beautiful coming together of music and people played against the backdrop of an old copper mining town, magnificent architecture and mountain views! Sharing the experience with the closest of friends made it all the better!! Hope to go back some day….
“Music is the mediator between the life of the senses and the life of the spirit.”
“The medicine of the future will be music and sound.”
“If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music.”
Water music below – definitely a healer…