28 Sep 13

By Randy Pierce

“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 sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

– John Lubbock

Gem pool at Mt. Washington. Photo courtesy of Tracy Pierce.

We seek serenity in myriad ways, and for me it is both in the seeking and the reflection from which I find tranquility. I’ve been asked many times to define the allure of the mountains for me. I’ve asked many the same question and the answers vary from person to person; I find they frequently vary within me as well. In fact, on a single journey into the mountains I often find myself tending several of the experiences which strengthen my spirit. This moment of reflection I dedicate to tranquility, for the recent news of Quinn’s diagnosis of cancer has been storming upon me and I know I must find my calm within the maelstrom.

I recall a moment in the mountains, resting upon the side of the trail. My eyes are closed, as this strangely seems to heighten even my awareness of my other senses. There’s a deep earthy scent surrounding me and my back is pressed against the softening remains of a tree blown down by storms long past. Above me, I hear light stirrings of winds playing through the leaves while distantly the higher summit gusts swirl with greater force to sound a symphony of separate swirls in this vast wilderness. I send out my senses to them and dance a bit with the grandness inherent in this vastness.

Slowly, ever so hesitant, I draw back my focus to the gentle babbling of a small stream nearby. I allow my consciousness to flow along the sounds of trickling water until it smooths into what I know must be a tranquil pool. There I rest with the calmness and marvel at the gifts surrounding me. I tend the lessons of this forest before returning to the voices of companions on the trail with me. We rise to shoulder our packs and test ourselves further yet already stronger for the respite.

Many are the moments of reflection and experience from my journeys. The challenge is to choose to reach out for them when it may seem the world demands are full focus in a less than pleasant present. Each moment we have is so very precious I hope to always find the balance for both building and testing my strength. I wish for all of you the very same.

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