I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows which follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright / Hawks Shadow

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunrise Meditation


There are times at camp when I am simply at a loss for words when witnessing one of natures many wonders. 

I woke up on this particular morning to mist dancing on the lake. Mesmerized, I could barley take my eyes off the coalescing vapor. 

Many thoughts wandered out of the mist to mesh with my mind as the cold air plucked at my skin. I immersed myself in the moment which became a memory which I will hold for many years to come. 

Hope you enjoy the dancers on the lake. 


 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Morning Lesson


The play between cold air and warm water can result in a magical display which is irresistible to the wandering eyes of an outdoors person.
I paddle into the mist and become invisible to the world. My mind conjures up images of spirits dancing to a melody which only they can hear.


 
As my canoe drifts through the surreal scene, an island appears from the depths of the lake. It seems, for the moment, that I am standing still and it is the island which is moving.

The Earth spins a few more degrees and the sun's heat begins to dissipate the dancers on the lake. I paddle to shore and spend a few minutes immersed in the magic.


A thought moves into my mind; unbidden but welcome. It's message remains shrouded for a short time and I do not search for it's meaning. Slowly it moves to the forefront and I write it into my memory. 

The message is clear and poignant. It tells me that life is fleeting. Most of us believe that the future holds more promise than the present. We look beyond the moment to moments which have not occurred yet. We miss the lessons of today for the hope that a greater lesson will present itself tomorrow.

As I walk back into my campsite, I become aware of everything I did not see just moments earlier. I turn my eyes back to the lake and thank the universe for the lesson I have just learned.



Saturday, September 12, 2020

Welcome Home



As the sun slowly slips down the western arc of the sky, shadows extend out from the surrounding trees pointing to the place where the sun will appear the next day. Wood smoke rises in a thin blue haze reaching upwards towards the pink hued sky. You sit quietly on a log in front of the fire pit immersed in thought.
 

The Light begins to fade and the cool night air stalks into your campsite forcing you to forgo your contemplation and move toward your tent. Opening the zippered door, you rummage around in your clothing bag looking for the hoodie that you know you packed. 


Clothed for the cool night air, you take your seat by the fire and resume watching the flickering flames as the fires' light pushes the relentless darkness back toward the forest and creates shadows which seem imbued with life. 

A loon cries out, the plaintive call filters through your mind and pulls your soul deeper into the wilderness.  Within the blackness of the forest, a barred owl calls out; four haunting notes repeated twice, then silence fills the camp site. A slight shiver runs up your spine as you realize you are a stranger in this wilderness, simply visiting from a place which does not allow the wild to exist. The realization that you are being watched by creatures which do not need the aid of artificial light, makes you feel inept and out of place.  




 Pulling yourself away from the warmth and security of the fire, you wander toward the shoreline upon which your canoe is resting. Keeping your headlight off, you gingerly make your way down the time-worn path. Your eyes begin to adjust to the darkness and you begin to see the world in black and white. A slight glow to your right alerts you to a phosphorescent fungus which imbues the forest with a hint of magic. 

A slight breeze tickles the water which reacts by sending ripples to tease the shoreline. You close your eyes and breath in deeply. Holding your breath for several seconds you then exhale the baggage your mind has conjured up. 

When you open your eyes, the sky is filled with pinpoints of light which are mirrored by the lake. The Big Dipper points toward Polaris, Orion stands on guard and Cassiopeia forms the letter W. 

Your eye focuses on Cassiopeia and your mind formulates two words, why and who. A question walks out of the fog within your consciousness.
 "Why am I here?"

As your mind grasps with the enormity of the query, a creature, unseen, laps at the water. You listen as it drinks. Not daring to move, you are instinctively frozen to the ground, becoming part of the wilderness you paddled into. Within a few heartbeats, the animal vanishes without a sound; you begin to breath again. 
The answer to your question has dislodged from your civilized brain. It is simply answered by two words; 
"To feel."  




Another question forms in your mind, coalescing out of the darkness like a far distant flashlight. 
"Who am I?"

The stars have rotated clock-wise while Polaris remains in place. A slight chill has wormed its way to your skin and you want to return to the fire, yet you linger because the question of "who?" requires some more thought.   




Shuffling your feet slightly, your right foot slips into the cool water sending ripples out into the blackness, informing everything they touch that you exist. The clarity of the moment lifts the fog from your mind and the question of "Who am I?" is answered. 

By simply re-arranging the words, the answer if forthcoming.  The sentence embeds itself  in your consciousness and you smile. The answer to the question is simply; 
"I am." 


As you walk back to the fire, the light of the moon begins to fill the site. Fear no longer lingers in the corners of your mind, you have blended into the wilderness and the simple act of breathing becomes special. Wood smoke fills the air with it's comforting aroma and you feel as if time is standing still. 

You place another log on the fire and resume your vigil beside the fires' glow. Heat seeps into your clothing and chases the chill away. Once again the owl calls out into the moonlight bathed world. You cup your hands over your mouth and call back in poor imitation.  Surprisingly, the owl responds. You have now become part of it's world, blending in and flowing within the dictates of nature. Any thought of dominance has evaporated and a sense of belonging has infused your soul. 

Welcome Home. 





 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

"Dam" Beavers!

How many times have you cursed the number of beaver dams blocking your route as you traverse a river?

The itinerary you painstakingly worked on during the planning stages of your trip is now in serious jeopardy of failure. A far distant lake is going to serve as your sanctuary for the coming night, yet this small wall of sticks, stones and mud is hampering your forward momentum.

"Damn Beavers!" You yell aloud to the reeds and cattail that surround you like a living wall as you pull your canoe and gear over the engineering works of the resident beaver. 


In reality, the problem is not caused by the beaver and it's penchant for building dams; the problem exists within our minds. 
We are habituated to time schedules and as such, anything that impedes our progression becomes an irritant.

It takes me several hours of paddling to leave my "society" mind behind. The pressures of everyday societal life slough off me as my paddle digs into the water. The first few beaver dams I encounter are considered annoyances, the following dams are welcomed. Without the dams, we would be forced to portage or walk our canoes down many water courses. 

The beaver builds the dam to ensure adequate water for its existence. That sequestered water is deep enough to navigate with a fully loaded canoe. 

The much maligned beaver is in fact responsible for shaping the multitude of original watersheds found throughout Ontario. Without this large rodent, Ontario would not be a paddlers paradise. 

I grew fond of these large intelligent creatures while traversing the forests and ponds of my youth. Their tenacity and strength was always something I marveled at.  


These images are those of a female beaver who became a companion of mine, she would follow my canoe whenever I chose to invade her pond. 


She would sit mumbling to herself as she groomed her fur. I would talk to her quietly as I surveyed the world she had built.
Climbing back into my canoe, I would paddle away as she followed in my wake. As I pulled my canoe over her large dam, I would thank her for her company and bid her farewell. 



The pond I once shared with her is now marshland; she and her family moved onto another area of the river where the food supply would sustain them through the winter. 

One day, the marshland will once again become a pond and I will pull my canoe over the rebuilt dam and make acquaintances with the resident pond builders. 

Happy Paddling. 

 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...