Thursday, 23 August 2012

Something In the Air

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while may recall that this river gauge was way over flood stage in the pictures I took this spring. Now the river is as low as I have seen it in years and this after a very wet and rainy summer.

The Fraser River flowing south. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm fall day today.

I don't know why I post the pictures. I post the same pictures all year.

Some of the leaves are sporting bright autumn colors.

The Quesnel River flows towards its meeting with the mighty Fraser.

The aspen trees are exchanging their leaves of green for their after Labour Day attire.

This critter was stuffing himself with choke cherries.

This one was greeting passers by with his raucous cry.

The river is broad and deep. It is neither Republican nor Democrat, Conservative nor Liberal. It takes no care of anything but being exactly what it is, where it is, when it is. Perhaps if we could learn to be as placid we could rid ourselves of politicians.

This is a sight that some like. I am not one of them. Summer was too short.

I have walked over 1600 kilometers since the 15th of May, more than half of it on these trails around the twin rivers.

People ask what I do when I walk. What do I do? Why when I walk I walk! What else do you do when you walk?

Well, sadly, I know the answer to that. Most people never walk when they walk. They never eat when they eat. They never listen when they listen. And yet, everyone assumes that they do. When I tell people that I walk when I walk and they respond that everyone does it takes some convincing to show them that most people do not and that they themselves have probably never walked when they walked in their entire lives.

How about you? Do you walk when you walk? Have you ever? For even a moment?

If you have even once walked when you walked then you understand what I mean and if you never have then you cannot understand what I mean even though you are sure that you do.

Henry David Thoreau said:

"Of course, it is no use to direct our steps to the woods if they do not carry us thither. I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society, but it still happens sometimes that I can not easily shake the village. The thought of some work will run in my head and I am not where my body is - I am out of my senses, What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking something out of the woods?"
St. Francis of Assisi was more succinct:

"There is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."
The Buddha also had something to say about walking but I will leave that for another day when, perhaps, I can discuss walking meditation.

In the meantime, do you walk when you walk?

It is time to go. I wish to spend time with my father. His heart is heavy tonight. He lost hs last surviving uncle recently. Uncle John was just 10 years older than father and they were very, very close. Like brothers.

Tonight we have received word that father's sole surviving brother has terminal cancer and does not have long. That is the last of my father's family and I know he is feeling this passing very deeply. I wish to be with him. To just sit with him.

(Originally posted September 12, 2008)

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