2012.09.02 19:00 - A Place to Trust ... Could be Anywhere

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Calvino Rabeni. The comments are by Calvino Rabeni.

    No one was here except the lone guardian.

    Calvino Rabeni: "Find a place to trust, and then try trusting it for awhile"
    Calvino Rabeni: Have you used this practice proverb?
    Calvino Rabeni: If so, what happened?

    I thought of that proverb while I was out hiking.  Maybe I could put it into practice, in a small way.

    It was Labor Day weekend.  Nobody works on Labor Day.  It's the holiday that brackets the end of the summer and there's often a mass exodus into the outlying areas, and then after that the camp grounds are mostly deserted.

    The wildfires had been burning for weeks, filling the air with light smoke, but today the winds were from the north and I knew that at higher elevation the air would be sweet.

    I had driven to a place where a road crossed the Pacific Crest Trail along a high ridge looking down on the California border.  Some backpackers were setting up a little tent tent home-away-from-home, on one of the old logging roads, all closed to mechanised travel inside this area, a biodiversity reserve.  I got on my mountain bike and rode uphill for a mile or so to a high point, and then left the bike and set out on foot.  It was a bright day, dry and hot, with a refreshing bite of coolness in the breeze, and the sun had the extra intensity of elevation. 

    I noticed an old habit of mine, the idea that my surroundings weren't really a good place to pause, that it might be better to keep on moving.  But wait ... having come all the way up here, planned it, taken the time, extended my carbon footprint with the fuel ... why not stop for a while?  And be part of the landscape, or make it part of me?

    Still, things looked a little arid.  No shade anywhere!  Of course, though, this was the south-facing sun-soaked slope.  I could see the tops of the trees just over the ridge on the north side.  My legs found a bit more will to go further afield.

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    No shade on top either, but just a little down the precipitous slope, yes... the shadows of those trees.  This is where they like to hang out.  So I looked at the ground for a while until a certain spot said ... this is your sitting place.  It wasn't before, but it is now, now that you're here.  Settle here and trust it for awhile.  Down went my pack and out came my writing pad.

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    As I sat there, the space opened up, the distances filled out, with the little web of back roads slowly revealing itself, the stone escarpments standing out a bit, ravines deepening, the trees each subtly moving in the breeze, in my eye as they already had been in their own world, more mine now than it would have been had I not been intrigued with and given some life to the words of that proverb: "Find a place to trust, and then try trusting it for a while."

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    It looked like that for a long while, slowly changing.  There were hawks and buzzards, ravens and an occasional trace of bear.  No deer, however:  they have the sense to stay in town where the grass is greener.  Literally.  Then I headed back into town. 

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    Ah, yes, there they were in the city park.  Two does had brought their fawns, still wearing spots, for a little freshly watered grass.  They're quite tame around people.  They have a pass for the "No Sleeping Overnight" regulation, and sleep in the bushes at night.  A bit farther down, some mothers (and fathers) had brought their children for refreshing and comfortable dip.

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