“What is it that awakens in my soul when I walk in the desert, when I catch the scent of rain, when I see the sun and moon rise and set on all the colors of the earth, when I approach the heart of wilderness? What is it that stirs within me when I enter upon sacred ground? For indeed something does move and enliven me in my spirit, something that defines my very being in the world. I realize my humanity in proportion as I perceive my reflection in the landscape that enfolds me.” –N. Scott Momaday, Testimony, 1996.
We’ve had a good series of adventures since I last wrote. I’ve been to the Iron Horse Bicycling Classic in Durango, and enjoyed bike rides and walks with Mai in sweet places. So far as figuring out where home is, I think that is a trick question. I feel at home everywhere I am.
Feeling at home is a matter of paying attention. When we tune in we sense it. In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, she says “the reward for attention is always healing.”
Cameron goes on to say “your own healing is the greatest message of hope for others.” This seems to me true. And it a whole lot easier than trying to fix problems we don’t control.
I enjoyed being in Durango, but it was also nice coming back to Albuquerque. There is a lot of nature in this place, and we do well to experience it, to go with the flow. It is ironic that people need nature to recharge and recover, but sometimes the way we build up the environment covers up this healing power. It seems like where we need that the most is where all the people are (or most people, and now across the world, over 50% of people live in cities, and that proportion is growing). Sometimes I feel alienated from humaneness in parts of the city, and that causes pain. Julia Cameron wrote “pain is what it took to teach me to pay attention”. That is an important lesson. Building places, working with nature, so that we feel connected to all of life feels a whole lot better, and it’s worth the effort. When people feel a sense of adventure in routine activities, enjoying simple things like a walk or bike ride, we are living well.