Paradise on a Silver Plater
Traveling with Tippy… Wherever you go, there you are… Escape is just an illusion of the senses.
The second part of the trip in the middle of October 2019
Traveling far beneath the surface of my being, yet not traveling anywhere at all, it was going to be a day to explore my new surrounding, and a day my body was going to stay put and my mind and heart were going to travel beyond the horizon. I was going to stay right here and travel to the other side of the universe.
You would think that you cannot travel into two places at the same time, but I am here to tell you that you sure can. Physically transporting the body is what I mean by traveling around. Mentally, emotionally and psychologically traveling within yourself is what I mean by traveling within.
It was tough getting to my destination, but that may be because the road to paradise is not always smooth. I accept that and will do it again, and again. So my story continues…
Arriving to my first destination after a long and difficult journey, I felt that I might as well travel by horse. When it takes two whole days to get to a mountain top in some remote corner of the universe it feels like forever in these days of traveling by air, water or land. This trip was air and land, but no water. Perhaps if I would have thought about traveling by water I may have gotten there faster. But I did finally get to the top of the mountain to the cabin in the woods where I would stay for a week. (as you can read on my previous blog)It is impossible to ignore your inner world when you are surrounded by pure nature. Well, not so pure, humans certainly have a way of playing and molding nature, but compared to the city, this place is as natural as any city dweller could ever imagine.
For me it was paradise on a silver platter.
I woke up in Paradise, right smack in the middle of nature. The sky was so bright I was squinting when I opened the shades. Excited I jumped out of bed sneezing and coughing and embracing the headache that threatened to cut off my head. The brightness was too much for my eyes and I had to pull down the shades and allow myself to adjust to the cabin’s lighting which was more in line with my sleepy eyes. When my eyes finally adjusted to the cabin I open the shades again and the brightness did not blind me. I saw trees, and birds, and several trails leading in a few different directions. What I didn’t see was concrete, the jungle of city living. I noticed small wooden cabins scattered in a distance. Smoke was coming out of a chimney from the cabin closest to me. My entire body tingled with the anticipation of walking down a dusty trail. It may be called a walk in nature, or hike in the mountains, but it was so much more than that to me. Living in the city, I usually wake up to the sound of garbage trucks, school buses, city buses, and lots of traffic with loud horns from impatient drivers. Being exposed to city sounds all day long sure puts you in awe of the peaceful morning silence in the mountains, The beautiful melody of a bird in flight, or the aroma of a burning fireplace. I couldn’t wait to get dressed and go get my shoes really dusty. My nose was red and dried up from sneezing and a running all night, and my coughing was still pretty bad, but
I was in paradise.
The pounding headache and weakness would never stop me from tasting the crisp air of the mountains in the morning. Alone in the cabin it was difficult to get dressed and be ready for takeoff. I went through the mud room to get outside. I never even heard of a mud room before. But I learned something new. This cabin had a mud room. To those of you that have never been in a farm, a mud room is something you could check out. My shoes were waiting by the front door, and it felt like the first time I ever put on clean new shoes in anticipation of coming home with very dusty and maybe even muddy shoes.
Stepping outside into the large patio I felt the chilly morning air embrace me with a fresh scent of fall. It was as if the wind itself was whispering a welcome song. It was as if I was dancing in a special corner of paradise. Or was I? I was alone because I was still pretty sick and my head was aching, but there was no way I was going to spend this amazing day in bed. I did not want to go near family, for fear of getting someone sick. So there I was alone and for some reason loving it, but in hopes that the bug would be totally gone by tomorrow.
No, today was the day to be alone, not by choice, by necessity. Finally all alone in a corner of the universe where nature whispers to you through every possible dimension. My heart was singing and my feet were skipping down the dusty trail my nose was whining and throat was aching as I marched towards the first cabin in the woods, the cabin with a smoking chimney.
I stood outside in front of the cabin and decided to start exploring the land that surrounded this cabin. Instead of heading towards the main road, which was a dusty small country road lined with trees and bushes and flowers and all kinds of plants I did not recognize. My feet were so light it felt like flying. My head was so high it felt like I was on drugs, but I had not even taken an aspirin or Advil. The lightness increased as I ventured further and further away from my cabin without much attention to returning.
To the right the smoke was strong and the smell was even stronger. I skipped around this lot like a butterfly in the spring touching every little thing that grew in my way. I had no clue if it could potentially be poison, or what it was. It was just there waiting to be touched. When I got to the top of the mountain, the most magnificent view came into place.
All I wanted was to spread my wings and fly.
Yes, I know I can’t fly, but hey who cares.
I turned off the little screen that I kept in my pocket. You can call it my security blanket, but my little screen called phone might as well be attached to my skin because it is never further than the reach of my hand, and never lower than 50% charged. But now, suddenly the dust beneath my feet and the beautiful two white horses 20 feet ahead of me triggered me to turn it off. I did not fight it, I just pushed the little button and then another swipe and a click and finally the little spark of electricity was off and dead.
For a minute I missed it. I am totally unfamiliar with life without it. Then I was lost. What if I need it? I thought in alarm and than began to laugh at myself. It was as if I was lost in the woods and couldn’t find my way home. I stood there bewildered for a bit. I am really not sure how long because my phone usually tells me what time it is, and now without it, I had nothing to track my time. So I stood and looked at the two white horses who were now joined by two brown horses. Beautiful majestic creatures that they are. I stood lost in the winds of confusion. Who would have thought that a little tiny devise could paralyze and confuse me?
Why didn’t I ever do that before? I thought to myself as my inward journey just took one tiny little step inward to my inner self, an entire new world of magical imagination, and a universe so vast that my wildest imagination could not quiet grasp. But the empty road ahead of me and majestic horses in front of me quickly took me out of that inner space and back into the breath taking beauty of nature itself.
Yes indeed I must be in paradise.
My legs were beginning to feel weak and shaky. I looked around for a place to seat and there, right in front of my face was a big comfortable rock-chair. It was as if someone pulled out a chair just for me to sit. With silent awe I took off my shoes and made myself comfortable. I am totally not used to sitting on a rock and doing nothing. As a matter of fact I am not used to sitting anywhere and doing nothing. I spend most of my time in NYC where ‘doing nothing’ is some sort of outer planetary delusion. I needed my cell phone to check my communication. I could use an iPad or a tablet or a mac. But nothing? It was as if I wasted my precious life, even though it was only two or three minutes that I was sitting. But my body was weak and I did not have much choice. I could sit here or I can sit somewhere else, but I had to rest no matter what.
It all started when the word meditation began to circle around in my brain. Sitting on a rock, on the top of the mountain right by Sprague River, unable to move, unable to call for help. Able to do only one thing; Meditate. As a matter of fact, this moment in time and place and space looked like it may have been created just for that; Meditation.
Traveling all over the place, and traveling within, Oh boy, what a difference this trip is going to make. I closed my eyes to calibrate myself with my brain. I was getting restless within the first minute. My legs began to shake and my heart began to race as if I was in the middle of a marathon. But I was not moving at all. I decided to meditate, and with complete lack of any other choices, that was what I was going to do. Well, I did have other choices. I could sing, I could talk to myself, I could cry, but one thing I couldn’t do was keep on walking as if I had any strength left because I didn’t. I was going to sit right on this surprisingly comfortable rock and watch my brain throw a fit. Or just watch what my brain could dish out.
I opened my eyes quickly and I liked what I saw. It was serene and peaceful. It gave me a feeling of quietness that I have been yearning for a long time. I decided to give it another shot. I closed my eyes again, and just watched my thoughts as they crowded around me like room full of three year olds. Every thought was just screaming as if I couldn’t see it. It was racing so fast that I had to pay very close attention, and then I was gone somewhere because when I came back to the sound of a car approaching, I did not have a clue where my brain went. But, I did go past that one minute, or at least I think I did because I did not have my electronic indicator telling me what time it was now or what time it was before.
The car passed leaving a cloud of dust behind it, and I closed my eyes again. That was when it came to me, the trip within. My eyes opened to this strange thought that actually made me feel tingly and giddy. I closed my eyes again, and again and again trying to get my brain to cooperate with me. Until I stoped trying and just closed my eyes, and that was when it happen. I saw a techno- color vision of a busy street with tons of people rushing back and forth. (It could have been fifth Ave.) I was one of those people, but I was also watching this vision. Strange, and true, that was what I saw. However, as soon as I got excited about it, the vision disappeared. But it left a very strong impression in my heart and soul. That was the moment I made the decision.
I was going to create a meditation retreat, right here in Sprague River, known for fishing and hunting and hiking. I do not fish and know nothing about hunting, but hiking sounded good enough. To me, this became the official place for my meditation retreat.
I opened my eyes and thought I was hallucinating. Someone was walking towards me, and she looked like she came from the cabin with the smoke that I had just passed. Perhaps I was on her land? Perhaps she wants something. She looked a bit disturbed. Her hair was long and braided on both sides. Her clothes were loose and a bit dirty. She was wobbling for her weight did not allow her to walk straight. Towards me she was marching as I sat paralyzed wondering what she wanted?
To be continued…