Monthly Archives: July 2016

A Photo a Week Challenge: Out in the Country

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Both of these pictures were taken at two different points in a hike that I took last week. The theme, “Out in the Country,” is well represented here in both photos by showing the isolation of being out in the country.

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“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

Heading out into the woods anywhere in the Hudson Valley promises each person a wide variety of trails that are naturally built into each hike. Some are wide and can accommodate several people walking shoulder to shoulder, while others, as seen in the photo above must be traveled in a single file.  Hiking on narrow trails, especially when they go on for some length, provide you with a sense of not knowing what it going to come next. Will the trail open up? Will it stay the same? When I venture out and encounter long stretches like this, it feels like being wrapped in a warm blanket. Soft, secure and peaceful.

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The World Awakens

One of the unique things about hiking and walking is you get to see the world in many different lights. Depending on the time of day that you venture out, you can, and probably will, have a drastically different experience than you would if you had decided to wait to head out, either later or even earlier in the day. On the days that I am not on one trail or another, I have several loops on the local roads that I like to walk to start my day. Because it has been so hot, I have spent just about the last week getting up and walking at 4:30 am.

Although I get up around the same to go to work during the school year, I can’t compare getting up to hike and getting up to go to work.  Not that I don’t love my job, because I do, but it is much easier  on the psyche getting up that early when you are doing something that is going to help your mind and body move forward on every level.

 

Now, the reason I mention this is because I have noticed that whether I am deep in the woods or on the road, each day starts remarkably the same way. On the trail, the woods are eerily silent and the only sound I hear, and quickly become in sync with, is my boots kicking up the earth as I explore my surroundings. As the sun makes its way over the hills and through the dense brush of the summer woods, you can start to hear the chipmunks and squirrels begin their daily routine of survival.

The same can be said of those living in the suburbs. At this time of year, all I hear when I start walking is the communal hum of air conditioners in the houses of those who are also beginning their daily routine of survival. Bleary eyed, or in some cases teary eyed, I see the people on my walk leaving the comforts of home, briefcase or bag in hand with looks of temporary despair as they start their daily journey to, where?

As the sun continues its relentless march upward and across the morning sky, the dew begins to dry on any exposed leaves and as a summer breeze moves in from the west, the trees silently stir. At this time of the morning, especially when I am on the trail, I’ll take a few minutes to just sit with my eyes closed and take it all in. The shift from the night slumber to awakening reality can be a real eye opener (no pun intended).

More and more life continues to stir and it is obvious to me that in both cases, each place has its routines that must be adhered to. Routines, that when looked at closely, follow a pattern that help determine whether, if followed, they are among the survivors that day.

Isn’t daily survival a short-term goal for everyone? Isn’t it important to start every day in peace so we can make the decisions going forward necessary to help maintain that peace? I am looking for peace at home, peace at work and just living life without the drama that seems to consume us. Think about how you can preserve your peace as well as those around you based on how you start your day.

 

Haiku-A Summer Rain

I could see the black rain clouds approaching from the northwest and I just sat and waited. Although people tend not to like rain, during the summer I always welcome it. Today, when the rain began, it was a sweltering 94 degrees. As it pushed through, the temperature dropped to a bearable and breathable 74 degrees. It goes without saying that we can always use the rain.

Creeping up slowly

Menacing dark clouds pour down

Welcome liquid life 

Jase Loving Life

“Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.”

“Dogs love to go for rides. A dog will happily get into any vehicle going anywhere.”

-Dave Barry

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Before I say anything about the picture, I have to note that I in no way recommend that anyone take a picture of their dog in the side view mirror as they drive down the road. That would just be dangerous!!!! With that said, Jase loves riding in cars (as you have read before) and here he is with his tongue flopping in the wind.

Although any ride is a good ride for Jase, this one in particular was an especially satisfying one as he spent just about three hours with us, driving around and doing errands. To say that he loved every minute of it would be an incredible understatement.

Based on the look of bliss on Jase’s face, I will not say anything else. The picture tells the entire story.