September 25, 2023
This season has been busy for me and the dogs, starting in March in the Utah Canyon Country, then backpacking and camping in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana through August. I ended the summer with a solo trip to the other side of the world, 8,000 miles away, snorkeling and freediving in the Coral Seas of Indonesia. I was able to see and talk to the dogs every day with a laptop that auto answered when I called in with Skype, and which lessened how much I missed them, although the last five days I was more than ready to get home and be reunited with Beau, Hayley, and Jess. I had someone very good watching the dogs, and who took them on a walk every day. I hope to make it up to them for the time away with more backpacking and cabin stays before November.
Before and after all of my trips I walk along the river and through the cottonwood groves down on the Greenbelt, where I have been walking for 30+ years. Throughout the seasons it becomes evident that this close to home nature has the same essence of the Earth beauty and mystery that I experience in my far from home adventures. I place my hand on the root of the old Cottonwood, which is a settling for me, a confirmation of my place on this earth, in my beloved home ground.
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“I recall an Irish girl lately come to this country, who worked for us, and who, when I dug and brought to the kitchen the first early potatoes, felt them, and stroked them with her hand, and smelled them, and was loath to lay them down, they were so full of suggestion of the dear land and home she had so lately left. I suppose it was a happy surprise to her to find that the earth had the same fresh, moist smell here that it had in Ireland, and yielded the same crisp tubers. The canny creature had always worked in the fields, and the love of the soil and of homely country things was deep in her heart. Another emigrant from over the seas, a laboring man, confined to the town, said to me in his last illness, that he believed he would get well if he could again walk in the fields. A Frenchman who fled the city and came to the country said, with an impressive gesture, that he wanted to be where he could see the blue sky over his head.”
John Burroughs, from Riverby
Look underfoot. You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.
John Burroughs, from Studies in Nature and Literature
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"