Refreshing Exercise

I got off from work just after lunch that day… in the Spring.  I drove to the lake to go for a hike.  I hiked up the mountain side on a trail that I have travelled many times.  Months before it was a different trail – in the sense that only a quarter of the way up the mountain that day, I found snow had piled up.  By the time I had reached the look-out point (about an hour and a half up the mountain) the snow was up to six or seven feet deep in places.  As I travelled up, it was not particularly cold, but the wind was gusting strong.  Clumps of moss and branches were falling from the tree-tops high above:  The British Columbia rain forest.

I had not planned on hiking all the way up, but the rain was holding off and the wind was inspiring in a way.  I took the challenge.  Just to make it to the look-out was a reward for me.   I looked out over the lake across the place where snow drifts piled.  Only months before this had been bare rock.  The wind continued to gust and it was not before long that I headed down.   When I got home – still in my steel-toed work boots (which made alright hiking boots), I wrote this poem.

 

Motion to Create – Shaped by the Elements  (2013)

The rhythm of the tree we hang on frees us,
Trembling in the wind – And then falling back to earth,
A collective sigh in the social group-
We are free to express our inner thoughts,
The wasted ones left behind to rot,
No flavour in their life,
They twist in the breeze,
And fall to the leaves, forgotten and withering – never to make the next transition,  Forgotten,
Resurrected in the floods of Spring,
Flowing back into the system,
A revitalized memory – a new form:
At once gleaming in the sun, and still reflecting the past, the remains long gone,
Do we speak of the idle stone?  Piled, buried- just blending in,
The snow melts, the streams burst, the feet scuffle and the rock is shaken free,
The new momentum carries us far,
Forever moving with the changing time,
We choose the beaten path or forge a new way,
Shaped by the factory that is all around us,
Machines driven by an initial pulse,
Only producing what is within our reachImage

Today, I climbed the trail again.  It is uncertain times.  Work is slow and hard when I can get it.  A transition into research and psychology is happening, but it is hard to see if I can (ever) make a full career change.  On the trail today there was a sign that a cougar had been spotted on September 8th.  I was happy to have my dog with me as a little added protection.  Respect for nature can take many shapes.  It can even allow a person to take a break from their problems and find inspiration.  Exercise is also a key to good health (and mental health).  Even a bit of exercise each day and week contributes to better health.  You can take the stairs or hike a mountain.

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