In The Valley
Life in the valley has always been and always will be comfortable, knowing, familiar. Surrounded by mountains summer green and winter white, flowers bloom in colors of the rainbow arced across meadows grazed by mountain goats and travelled by grizzleys black and brown.The air is fresh, clean and crisp, cool in mid morning warmed by the sun after noon. A stream runs through, bubbling and gurgling over rocks worn smooth, where branches and leaves moldy and moss covered float by on adventures to meet the lake beyond. A cabin sits on the plain just over from the stream, nestled among pine trees, tucked between the mountains. Smoke, white grey, billows through the chimney, the scent of poplar charred and coaled drifts throughout the valley. Cattle graze in the distance, creamy white as the milk that flows, and spotted black. Contentment. Alone in this valley created, free from chaos and noise distracting, the heart beats, steady, rhythmic. And then when the timing is just right, the beat begins to strengthen, chest rising with each new breath, the pulse quickens. The time has come. Rising steadfast and strong, knees fortell the story of doubt pulling back to the meadow and valley, a chance is taken. The chance to follow the calling, pulling and tugging returning time and time again, to go. Yes, we must go for going is what we must. It is as inevitable as our birth. The valley has protected, provided, enclosed. Our vision limited in its view now searches for vistas beyond the mountains. The echoes of life contained between these mountains , reverberate the same story, over and over, the same night and day, the same voice and thought. The ascent begins carrying the bundle round and warm of childhood. Memories sad and joyous carried and tucked into the heart, wrapped within leather pouches strung around necks rubbed raw from movement and weight, remain. It is time to go.
On The Mountain Top
Climbing. Climbing and stumbling, excited and weary , pulled onward and upward the journey begins, unknown scratching and pulling at the corners of the mind. Paths lie before laid out with puzzles and rocks, sticks and stones, to slow the journey giving time to contemplate, reconsider the path, make adjustments. Colorful Nepali prayer flags which represent the five elements, blow in the wind upon the mountain, reminders to go forth with peace, compassion, strength and love. Climbing upward, people met along the way gather around campfires burning brightly and warm. Stories are shared, some heatwarming, others frightening, always new. Lured by charismatic masks, honest and kind souls, coins of copper and gold, the ones before us, teach us, weaving themselves into lives anew, coming and going, in and out, hellos and goodbyes. A few travel alongside for many miles, easing the journey with understanding, compassion, empathy, laughter and love. The reaching hand, grasping firmly, a familiar pattern etched within the palm, life lines emerge. The sun shines in new patterns and shapes on hills, cloudtops closer imprinting new shapes, bringing forth innovative ideas. Discussions with cultures and peoples from far off lands tease out new perspectives, tales and folklore shared. Rising closer ever closer to the top, the world changes, morphing into new landscapes unexplored, taboos tasted like honey emerging from the beehive, the sting sweet. Foraging for knowledge and truths to feed the soul, an eagle guardian soars above calling upward toward spirituality and balance, a messenger between self and Creator. On the mountain, night is dark and lonely, illuminated by stars and moon. The search now inward begins, in a cave below the mountain top. It is there, alone, the self is revealed. Crying tears of warm memories, aware there is no return down the mountain to the valley below. Aware the journey must always be upward, understanding emerges. The light is within to guide and illume the way. Rising once again, the bundle warm and round is laid down, the leather pouch removed, the wound rubbed raw will begin to heal. Reaching the pinnacle, echoes reverberate with notes anew. Resounding for miles, no longer held steadfast within the valley, freedom awaits. Venturing forth the soul sings. Hello Hello Hello. A new echo will resound.