Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where do you stand?

Indulge me a moment.

Stop what you're doing and look at your feet.

What are you standing on? If you are sitting, on what does your chair rest? Chances are, it's man-made material - carpet, linoleum, tile, concrete. Would you agree that most of our time is spent standing, walking and sitting in a man-made environment?

We hiked near the Vermillion Cliffs in far northern Arizona yesterday. We hadn't broken from our work/responsibility routines in far too long. As I walked along the Cathedral Wash, which was mostly sand littered with pebbles and larger stone, I realized how much I had missed walking on natural materials. I realized suddenly that I need that experience.

The Tooth.
The Tooth. (Larger version)

I need to see the intricate patterns left in the sand by the receding waters. I'll never tire of seeing the fascinating patterns and layers in the rocks. I always think of how the huge boulders have lain in that same spot for decades and the storms they have weathered.

Dried mud.
Dried mud crunched under our feet. (Larger version)

Interesting rocks.
Interesting rocks. (Larger version)

I need to look along canyon walls and see God's landscape design - chaotic yet soothing in its variety. I'm always filled with anticipation for what insect or animal I might encounter.

Lone butterfly.
Lone butterfly. (Larger version)

When we see occasional historic litter, I wonder about that person who passed before me. How different was their world from mine? Did they have the time and energy to admire their surroundings or did the demands of survival take all their attention?

Historical litter.
Historical litter. (Larger version)

I could go on and on about what I hear, smell and feel as I remove myself from the man-made world and enter the ever-shrinking natural world. On this trip, when we returned to the car, I was tired and hungry, sweaty and dirty and my feet hurt. But, overwhelmingly, I was satisfied and already thinking about where I wanted to go next.

Before Paul and I started hiking and exploring, I was content with carpet, concrete and carefully designed landscapes. I didn't know what I was missing and could have lived out my life, happily ignorant. There's no doubt in my mind that I am richer for the discovery of my need. Join us on the trail and see if you don't share my experience!

(This entry was written by Julie who is the north to my south, the sanity to my insanity, the hope to my pessimism, the one who enriches my life and defines love. I take no credit for it.)


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Wish we could join you, Julie. Good to see you posting.

9/28/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Hi Julie,

Nice to meet you through your experience.

I guess we could call it "grounding."


9/28/2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

I've never given a moments thought to what my feet are touching. Maybe I should.

9/28/2008 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Julie? REALLY? Bout' time!

9/28/2008 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Malcolm said...

Got to admit that I sometimes do not wish to know what I've trodden in!

9/29/2008 01:46:00 PM  
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