For anyone still keeping score, today’s OMER intersection is Malchut within Yesod: Kingdom, Dignity, Majesty within Foundation. As I stood in today’s stream, lifting chi up and pouring chi down, it struck me that the scene before me bespoke this better than words. But here some words might try to express the living stillness embodied in the balancing stones of a cairn, the presence, playfulness and welcome, the I AM and I CAN, which a cairn communicates.. resting, anchored in a swirling field of water (a foundation of physical life)… within the always-flowing dynamism of reality.
I’m tired from today’s outing; but what this post lacks in wit it makes up for in water and quiet wonder.
The excursion was one bathed in gratitude, not to mention sun, nourishing sounds, smells and surrounds. It was my first visit to Las Conchas trail (in the Jemez Mountains) in well over 20 years. Once the acrid malaise of city began to fall away, my heart was filled with blessings to count and friends to appreciate.
First I want to acknowledge all fire fighters. In the above photo, you can see that the green ridge across the road from the trailhead appears to have a crew cut. It is a glimpse the site of one of New Mexico’s most enormous and scary forest fires. Tin 2011, the Las Conchas fire came way too close to Los Alamos National Labs and burned 150,000 acres. This tranquil canyon where I stood to take this photo was spared.
As I drove here today, I gave thanks for my vehicle; it felt so good to be on the open road, cruising along a scenic highway, after so much time mostly homebound. And I give thanks to the surgeon who enabled me to drive here and again walk this trail.
Also in my thoughts today was my dear friend, Annelou, who turns 87 on Friday, and who has supported me in so many ways. As I wended my way first along the highway and then among the pines and globular rock formations that comprise the towering painted walls of this canyon, I was appreciating her and appreciating the scenery for her, snapping photos to share, with her… and…
… another friend, whom we almost lost in December, and with whom I believe I camped near the stream here in the 1990s. My heart smiled to know that my brother tao was still at the other end of the phone to text a “remember when” photo and celebrate that we both still walk the earth.
Although this trail doesn’t feature the kind of sustained up and down I usually seek to tone my hip stabilizers, there was plenty to amuse me in the way of hilly spurs and rocks and bridges to mount and dismount. I was grateful for my local friend Jay, who reminded me about this trail last weekend. As a chiropractor, he also reminded me of some orthopedic tricks I could employ to work those muscles. The advice was more helpful than I expected; thanks Jay. I am glad you are still with us, too.
At the end of this trail, the stream turns left into a narrower canyon. Here there are deeper pools, where a body
could actually submerge and where, today, fishermen were casting for trout.
I had completed one Qigong practice in a meadow along the way. Now, I stood in a little wading pool and moved through my second practice, watching the water, and the occasional fishing-line darting through or landing in my field of vision, and the cagey little fish who never took the bait. Anyone who has studied Qigong knows that one moves as if one is moving through water; so how delicious it was to actually stand in water as my body swam through air charged with life and negative ions.
Soon everyone else had moved on, and I had this little paradise to myself. I waded and scrabbled my way across the stream to a natural amphitheater-shaped cavern and perched on the rock to perform a sound healing practice.
From that perch, I took panoramic shot that included the view both upstream and downstream…intriguing.
Past and future in parallel.
…and the timelessness of a sumptuously grateful now.