It is impossible to share my current place without sharing a place from my past.
My birthday this year i spent alone, hiking. Perhaps i was not alone, but without human company. The entire hike i listed people, places, and experiences i was grateful for. Times of joy and sorrow came to mind, but in the end i was grateful for all the experiences for they had shaped my existence. As i walked, with each thank you, i got lighter and lighter. Before long my clothes were heavy, drowning me.
By the end of the day my ego was deminished, my heart was swollen, and my eyes damp. i had walked physically and spiritually stripped while i gathered wild greens to share with friends. i named the day, the hike, and the valley ‘oh be thankful’. It was then i realized i had been living an illusion. my eyes and my intellect had deceived me.
The birthday hike had nothing to do with the valley north of Crestted Butte. The place i had gone was not physical, there was no trail map to guide me. i had, for a moment, felt the universal song of the Earth.
i remember the experience nearly everyday in my new physical place, Kelly, Wyoming. The gratitude resounds from the trees, from the towering mountians, and from the mystery in all things. Audible only if i stop moving long enough to hear it.
Somehow my birthday taught me that a place is not always physical. Place is also a state of mind. The very least i can do as a human being free on the surface of the Earth is to constantly seek that place of gratitude, humility, and sharing.
for this life is not mine