Along the Ray

Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

January 11, 2018

Waterfall at Rickett's Glenn

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View from waterfall at Rickett’s Glen State Park in Pennsylvania. This is a very special trail where there are an astounding 24 waterfalls along a four mile climb through the mountain. Some waterfalls span nearly a hundred feet tall, but this little one was one of my favorites because it made for a nice quiet meditation retreat tucked a bit away from the trail where I could respite and recharge. Mmmm, yes.

January 3, 2018

A year (or two) of letting go

On this very cold day of our New Year, I ventured outside and promptly ran back indoors with visions of a snowy armageddon in Florida (yes I readily admit I’m a cold weather wimp).

Wrapped in the warmth of a heater and hot coffee, I took the opportunity to reflect back over the past year or so. It seems a recurring theme has been about letting go and releasing into a new life.

In order to realize a long time dream of wandering our land in a tiny camper, I let go of a dearly loved cabin on a river.

I also let go of all worldly possessions (save a few precious books!) to be able to fit in that 10’ x 6’ space — around 60 square feet.

When I hit the road, I found there was more letting go-ing here and there, including:

  • letting go of an entire way of life, all the way down to the simple things I’d taken for granted including readily accessible water/sewer, electricity, food, and internet.

  • letting go of the security and stability (and sanity!) of solid walls around me in a house and a familiar neighborhood.

  • which meant letting go into never letting my guard down. Trusting my intuition (spidey sense!) has kept me out of unsafe areas and even saved my life by alerting to a hungry bear hunting me down in the woods when I didn’t hear it coming. Being wary all the time can be weary (pun intended!) but I’ve learned to be at peace with it because it’s a necessary trade off of nomad life.

  • letting go of having friends, family, and familiar faces in close proximity. Even though I would still visit them from time to time, I would forever be a stranger roaming unfamiliar places.

  • a constant letting go of new friends made along the way— it’s always short and sweet with a see you later” as we continue wandering on separate paths.

  • it also meant learning to let go of remnant social anxieties of interacting with unknown people in unknown places with occasional communication issues. All holdovers from an era of growing up as a deaf child in a hearing world.

  • letting go of certainty and learning to embrace living an uncertain life in an uncertain world where I often have no idea where I would be the next day. It seems crazy but it’s also where unexpected magic lives in the art of surrendering — what I refer to as going wherever the wind takes me!”

  • letting go of preconceived notions of society, classes, and such. Wandering knows no boundaries — I’ve met all manner of people across a very wide spectrum. It’s where labels are shed — everyone is a human being with their own dreams, fears, struggles, and joys. The simple act of being kind and listening to each other’s stories is an act of diverse love…and healing.

  • one of the most difficult parts of letting go for me is past loves. A few years ago a special soul blew my heart wide open. As hard as we tried to align our destinies, ultimately we had separate paths to walk. It took me a very long time to unwind from it. Yet it was also one of the biggest areas of growth. One was learning I didn’t have to stop loving her and others because our hearts have an infinite capacity for love…if we let it. And when we keep our hearts open, love will always be there — past, present, and future. Unconditional forever loves is a beautiful thing.

In closing, I remember the day I embarked on this new life with mixed feelings of excitement and a bit of fear/uncertainty of what I was getting myself into! But I knew deep down that these life changes (and series of letting go-ing) would bring radical and deep shifts in all manner of ways… Some not always easy but ultimately worthy. It was a matter of letting go into trust (with a dash of common sense).

The biggest shift of all? At long last after years and years of settling” with life I finally found the purest, truest joy in wandering our land of beloved nature by following the mystical winds of my heart’s enlightenment.

(To think…If I never took that first big step of letting go into my dreams of wandering, I would have never found this unexpected great joy of my life. The idea of nearly missing out on this is altogether more scary than all the steps of letting go.)

December 23, 2017

Revelation in the City

After long days and nights in the wild, I would come to town to stock up on food, etc. (and as always, that important visit to the local coffee shop/bookstore, which is nearly as blissful as being in the woods).

Since living the nomadic life, I’ve often noticed something different whenever I trekked back into civilization: People would look my way warily and give wider berth than usual. But it wasn’t just that -— it was the feeling of at once being invisible and avoided at the same time. As if I was not wanted in their reality.

Initially, I shrugged it off as being a stranger in a strange land. There’s a certain energy that comes from not being of the area you’re in and some folks pick up on that.

One day I looked in a mirror in a public bathroom. The fellow looking back was grungy looking with very unshaven beard, unkempt & wild red hair, and soiled camping clothes. One of the pant legs had a tear partway down.

That’s when it hit me. I looked… homeless. Although not all look this way, I fit the stereotype.

That’s what usually comes from living the full-time camping life — scarce water for bathing, washing clothes, etc. The roughness of the woods making for clothes and skin where dirt is part of the pattern along with holes, rips, and tears here and there.

And here I was in town, unexpectedly steeped into a black hole of invisibility and avoidance by those around me. It was an unsettling feeling.

Now I have an inkling what it’s like for the real homeless out there, falling into a hole of of unwantedness and being cloaked out of people’s realities, sometimes forcibly so.

I admit in the past when I saw a homeless person, I usually didn’t give eye contact and would avoid them so they wouldn’t bother me mostly because I had a very difficult time reading their lips.

I still can’t read many of their lips and I confess to occasionally feeling helpless at this but now I’ll at least look them in the eyes and acknowledge their presence with a nod, letting them know they are seen and therefore not invisible. Often I’ll see old souls lurking within those eyes.

Sometimes I’ll bring them a hot coffee and such. One I gave a ride into town and oh, the stories he told! He was one of the very few whose lips I could read and it was enlightening. He choose that life.

There was this middle aged lady on Main Street near a fancy Sephora type-store sitting on the sidewalk with her backpack. I’d seen her several times before and we’d wave at each other. This time I sat down by her and said I can’t understand you but I want you to know I see you.” She smiled, did a bit of fake sign language and we laughed. She was grateful, reached out and put her hands over mine as a gesture of thanks. Her hands were so warm, soft, and welcoming. The hands of a grandmother — a fellow human being.

Not everyone chooses to be homeless. For those that didn’t, it’s an unfortunate circumstance that doesn’t lessen their humanity. For those who choose this path (living the nomad life, I can see why) it takes a degree of courage to do so.

Some of the choices made that lead to a life this way might be unsavory to some, but at the end of the day they’re walking their path just as you and I and they’re no less of a soul.

November 21, 2017

The beloved

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It was one of those times I wasn’t feeling too well so I took it easy by camping around a week on Prado Reservoir near Corona, California. There was a good sized lake home to thousands of birds of all kinds. In the mornings and evenings I’d take long, slow walks around the shore as a healing meditation of sorts. During one of those walks I saw this sunset beauty, a Great Blue Heron, as it alighted from a tree. It soared with such grace and elegance I felt my soul lift with it, bringing deep feelings of gratitude and bliss.

When you witness the beloved, you become the beloved.

November 18, 2017

Stumbling upon Sitting Bull

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I felt I had stepped back into time seeing vast, rolling hills and prairies. My heart soared as I imagined millions of buffalo, horses, stags, and such roaming these plains only a hundred years or so ago.

Just across the river in the photo is where Sitting Bull and Sacajawea (of Lewis and Clark fame) are buried. Monuments to their memory are somewhat out of the way and a bit run down but they still stand tall in their stead. I was humbled and amazed to have the wind bring me their way by coincidence (or otherwise?). Sitting Bull’s site was replete with animal skins and various offerings left behind so he is not quite forgotten here by his own brothers and sisters.

I will remain what I am until I die, a hunter, and when there are no buffalo or other game I will send my children to hunt and live on prairie, for where an Indian is shut up in one place his body becomes weak.
Sitting Bull
November 17, 2017

Beautiful embrace

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In the above photo, I was driving on a mountain pass through northern Idaho on the way to Oregon and ended up pulling over on a switchback to stare up at the peak in reverence for a good while…

What I saw was the long hand of winter finally reaching down to swaddle the trees in her coldness. The trees awaited that gentle embrace because it meant they could at long last rest into deep slumber and it would be the first step towards that time of renewal ahead in spring.

Bit by bit, tree by tree she consumed all until there was nothing left but vast whiteness and coldness. That was my first glimpse of winter that day and it was one of the most beautiful embraces I’d ever witnessed.

November 11, 2017

Extraordinary souls on the road

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_images/IMG_0520.jpgNear Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania on the Confluence river

I have fond memories of the area, but what I remember most was a middle aged homeless woman camped near me in her small car.

Over the next few mornings, I’d bring hot coffee and bagels over and we’d chat. First about books, the area, camping life, etc. Over time her story unfolded bit by bit.

I learned she was homeless because she was living with her mom when she died and they lost their home afterwards so she’s been living in her car.

That’s how she could afford food, fuel and such without worrying about rent, utilities, etc.

I also learned she had gained a lot of weight from dealing with her mom’s prior health and passing away and it was why she was camped where we were… Nearby was a trail that runs around a hundred miles and she’s been walking it over time, dropping pound by pound while camping along the way.

She said she had a job lined up a few months ahead and was looking forward to it. Meanwhile she was making the best of things, walking the trails by day and knitting & reading her books in the evenings.

Although she’s certainly had her moments, she was in good spirits and upbeat about life ahead. When time came for us to part ways, I told her I admired her courage and wished her the very best on her journey.

One of the most unexpected things on my own journey have been the people I’ve met. As a solitary wolf roaming our beloved land I thought I’d be running with the soul of nature but the wind herself has made sure I’ve crossed paths with extraordinary souls along the way like this lady.

July 21, 2017

Meditation is not always stillness

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_images/IMG_3911.jpg Blue Heron on Prado Reservoir in California

Meditation is not always stillness; sometimes energy moves so fast your ears burn and you sway in the vibrational blur…

June 19, 2017

Soul flying

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How do I write this? When closing my eyes in meditation outside, often the wind or a breeze swirls through and I’ve wondered what it came from. Perhaps it’s our soul — way larger our body — unfurling its giant wings in the act of going aloft to the heavens?

May 12, 2017

Spins @ Datil Wells

Woke up to a full on Ménière’s disease vertigo attack one morning. It’s rare when that happens but it’s awful when it does because it’s a bad start to the day when your whole world is spinning and you’re stumbling around trying not to vomit. Ugh Fortunately it passed a few hours later and I was able to resume normal activities.

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https://alongtheray.com Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

Along the Ray

Somewhere on a river...

North American continent usually

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