wild awareness

Underneath it all, we are wild and we know it.
-Reggie Ray, Buddhist scholar
I'm curious; what does wild mean to you?  

to me wild means trusting my instincts; lying on a sunny boulder feeling like a lizard, no human sounds but my own breath and heart beat.  wild is knowing how to birth a baby with no instructions from a doctor.  wild is preferring to sip my tea overlooking a trickling creek than in a bustling cafe.  wild is knowing with my entire being that I am part of this earth, just as other creatures are. exactly.

wild is feeling the pulse of the earth as our own.  running. walking through a forest, along a beach, up a mountain and feeling "at home".  wild is building a fire to stay warm; heck, it's just knowing that it is fire that keeps us warm.  taking food from the earth with our own hands is wild.  it's instinct; it's intuition.

wild is being connected to life's processes.  it's feeling something in our gut; that's what animals do. but beyond that, wild is trusting it.

understanding how nature works helps us understand our own wildness but it's not necessary.  we don't need to understand why ants do what they do to appreciate how we are the same (if you don't think we are similar, look at what they are doing.)

babies know they are wild when they cry for a breast (until we teach them it's not time; they have to be nourished on a schedule.)  toddlers still know they are wild until we teach them it's not okay to sit in the dirt.  we culture and domesticize the wild right out of us pretty quickly.  On The Surface.

but if we sit alone by the creek long enough, or watch the birds collecting seeds before a storm, or sleep under stars long enough, we will remember.  growing food.  hunting food.  chopping wood.  birthing babies.  making fire with a stick.  defending our young.  swimming in wild water.  lying in a sunny patch in the forest with a lover.  these things can help us remember.
  -being on the computer?  probably not.
  -rushing in to starbucks for a pumpkin latte? not so much.
  -checking stats on facebook/blog/website?  nope

but hey, I'm not making fun - I do these things too.  They're just not my wildest moments.

we have jobs, we have children and laundry and orthodontist appointments.  we have oil changes, toilets to clean, teacher conferences and bills to pay.  But, I am a wild creature and I know it.  whether it is a trait valued in our culture or not.

So, what does wild mean to you?

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Running with Gratitude

My running mantra:  I give thanks for my strong lungs and heart, my solid feet, my clear thoughts and the wild land that inspires me to be a better human.
I thank my dog companions whose ears and eyes will sense a mountain lion before I do.
These legs carry me miles and miles through the forests of the high mountains, without complaints.
My friends have asked:  why alone, why so many miles alone?
The answer I give is, I just love running alone.
The answer I don't give is, it is the only way for me to hear the voice that speaks to me only in these quiet times.
I can run with others, I have wandered the wild lands with others, I will explore the mesas and canyons with others.  
But the strength comes from the solitude and the strenuous nature of what I am doing.  It is in the quiet,  deepest, wildest places where my soul work is done; where the soul of the world flows through me and I am whole; I am invincible; I am  super woman.  
 I don't want to stop running; I am grinning;  it seems every plant and bird and raindrop is part of me.
It is here in these seriously physical, solitary, exhausting moments, that I know I am strong. 
I am not afraid of my strength.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous ? Actually, who are you not to be ? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

Spring Cleaning

It might be time to splinter this web journal into separate blogs.  I've been thinking about it for a while.  I'm beginning to document the whole Walnut Creek story on a separate blog (how we got there, how we lived there, why we're not there anymore.)  That Blog is "Five Year Wild" and is for those just interested in the Walnut Creek story and the amazing adventures living off-the-grid for five and a half years in a remote AZ wilderness.


I will have a Photo Blog for those only interested in the photography part of it (not up yet.)


And then, I will attempt to move this blog to my website, so stay tuned for that.


In addition, I have a blog called the Creek and Mesa Review which has reviews of photo equipment, cameras, books,  and cool products.


If anyone has any feedback or ideas, send 'em my way.


Happy waxing moon!


 

Horses


Today I went for a sunny run through my beloved mountains after a morning of studying. The dogs trotted along, dodging in and out of bushes and trees.  I run in the mountains with only my dogs. It is a solitary and deeply fulfilling experience.  Running through forests without trails, over boulders and through creeks reminds me of the path I have chosen with horses. The path is in my heart; it is not clear; it is not paved or well traveled. I have to go with the feel, stay strong.

I found the work of Alexander Nevzorov a couple years ago while searching for a deeper way to be with my horses. Everything I found in the school’s teaching was already in my heart. I had stopped using bits, bridles and saddles years ago, even stopped riding.  Becoming a student of the school was like finding a long lost friend. I could finally breathe and be myself.

Now, I spend time just hanging with my horses; I let them come to me instead of going to get them. They are no longer tools or objects for my recreation. We stretch together, lay in the sun together, go on walks together, and play games.  We work on simple cordeo (loose neck cord) turns and stops from the ground, pedestal exercises, tail (back) to hand, lift and hold the leg up.  I trim their feet (no shoes), study Equine Anatomy and Physiology, and do a lot of reflecting on why I have horses in my life. I love the strength and beauty in them.  I love the relationship.  I no longer want to control them, and they know this.  Now, they will do almost anything I ask of them.  The difference is that now I ask.  They, as individual beings, have a right to refuse.  We have developed something that is rare and beautiful (and odd, I might add, to traditional horse people.)  But that is the beauty of individuality and finding your own path.

Most of my life has been lived outside the mainstream. I am used to doing things differently and because of this I am always on the outskirts (literally and figuratively.)  I live in a cabin in a secluded national forest valley nestled between two mountain ranges and wilderness areas. My family, my animal friends and this land are my best friends.