You are everything...

You are everything...
Photo by Claire Rush / Unsplash

The campfire crackles and pops–blue, white, yellow, burnt orange flames roar, flicker, and leap into the vast starlit sky.

Wool cap, light jacket, long pants—your face—flush with the heat of the flames, glows warmly in the night air.

Leaves rustle, swish, and twirl as cool blustery winds dance with woodsmoke.

No thoughts.

No sense of time or place.

No self.


Where did you go?

A photo of my friend Ashley, sitting atop a mountain she wasn't sure she could climb
My friend Ashley sitting atop a mountain she wasn't sure she could climb.

Upward you climb

Thighs screaming, heart pounding in your ears. Leather tongue, thick and dry, sticks to the back of your throat from sucking thin air to feed your burning, shrinking lungs.  

Slightly dizzy, and slightly worried, you press on. With each agonizing step, you draw closer to the summit.

But it doesn’t come to a point, does it?

You get to decide.

This, this right here. This is the summit.

You sit, drink. Your heart calms, and your lungs relax.

The expanse is awesome, incomprehensible.

The horizon bends from its very weight.

You are utterly alone and so very, very small in the grand scheme of things, and yet...

You are whole, fulfilled, grounded, and at peace.

But it fades...

"You cannot stay on the summit forever, You have to come down again...

So why bother in the first place?  

Just this: what is above knows what is above.  

One climbs, one sees.  One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen.

There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions, by the memory of what one saw higher up."

-Rene Dumal

Where do you find it?

Those who meditate can sometimes find these moments indoors, but they're rare and hard-fought.

The monkey mind is stronger indoors.

The best moments, the purest moments, are found outdoors.

We are closer to our true selves in the wild.

The joy of the sun on our skin, our feet squishing through wet sand, or even sitting on the lawn in the shade of a tree, at a park, or in our own backyard.

My friend Michael finds it walking long stretches of roadway across Canada, coast-to-coast, on foot, with only his guitar and his many stories.

Some find it running, like my dear friend Ashley—even in the dead of winter in Edmonton, Canada's subzero temperatures.

And Ashley finds it on mountain tops, too (that’s her in the photo up above).

Surfers find it in the ocean.

Sailors the sea.

Water is the perfect mirror.

Whether crashing waves or calm lapping against a sandy shore, the steady, rhythmic power of water calms and soothes us—dissolving our illusion of separateness.

The forest woodlands, the mountains, lakes, rivers, and streams...

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff.
We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
Carl Sagan
Photo by Alexas_Fotos / Unsplash

...and everything is you.

It's easy to feel small and insignificant in the ever-expanding digital universe.

Makes sense. We’re not digital, are we?

Ironically, my day job consists of selling people on the idea that technology is an incredible tool to grow your business and connect with your customers.

And goodness knows, I am grateful for the technology that connects me with family and friends—some of whom I have yet to meet in person.

But ultimately, our peace and connection to one another—and especially with the Universe—is not found in the devices we carry in our pockets.

We find our true essence in nature and, those really special moments when we connect with others.

In those precious moments, we connect to the same energy, joy, and spirit that lives in all of us—expressed differently in myriad ways.

We are all interconnected, like a tree to its roots or a river to the sea.

And I am ever so grateful to you...for connecting with me.

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Joni Mitchell
© October 22, 1969; Siquomb Publishing Corp