You Only Live Once Part One

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This past weekend, we journeyed to Banning State Park for some much needed relaxation and time away from our daily lives. I purchased a gently used but older pop-up camper a couple of months ago that we would call home for our time there.  We were joined by a couple of good friends who love an adventure and lucked out in getting the campsite right next to us.

On Saturday, we decided to take a hike to the waterfall in the park.  It wasn’t a long walk but the path there was stunning.  I was able to really pay attention to what was around me and take it all in.  I saw spectacular things while in that space which felt like a completely different world.  Here are a few images…

Banning State Park FungusBanning State ParkBanning State Park NestYou can see more here and here.

These moments really fill my soul.  I love the sensation of being one with nature…like I’m a part of an environment I don’t experience in my every day life.

The walk did get a bit tougher in some areas and I never mind putting my camera away for a brief moment…as long as it’s brief…to move around and continue on; but my joy really comes from being able to take it all in.

Taking a step back in time…

these types of experiences are relatively new to me.  My camera and I reunited a couple of years ago and I’ve fully enjoyed the intimate relationship we have developed.  She has helped me see the world through a different set of eyes, my true eyes.  To see what I might have otherwise missed.

I would be lost without her.

It took many years to find my way back to her.  And one of the pieces that brought us back together was hearing the story of a woman who had led a very rough life, experiencing things most of us never even hear about.  She was a mountain climber.  As she shared her story with us, she recounted all the times she’d set out to conquer a mountain.  She couldn’t wait to get to the top and be able to say she achieved that goal before moving on to the next.  Her experiences were always the same, she soon discovered….she’d set a goal to climb a mountain and she’d climb it.  She’d get to the top and put her hands up and proclaim her success.  And what would follow were 4 little words…”oh shit, now what?” And she’d set off to set her next goal.

There was no true enjoyment in the process…the journey.  Simply a means to an end.  Climb the mountain so she could get to the top.  The top was the only goal.

Eventually, she realized how much she was missing and shifted her perspective around climbing.  She began to carry a camera with her and would not climb without stopping along the way and taking at least 20 photos before she’d reach the top.  She didn’t want life to pass her by.  She wanted to enjoy the entire experience…not just parts of it.

Although it would take me many years to embrace this way of being, I embrace it now.  The entire experience is important to me.  The entire experience of being in the flow.

That is what it’s like for me.  Being in the flow.  I move with the earth.  I am no longer lonely although I may be very alone.  I am one with nature.

This is post one in a series.  I’m not sure how many there will end up being but I know it will be more than one. *smiles*  You can read post two here once it’s complete.

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