A Soak in Nature

Contributing to the Chaos while

Living – Life – Large

Dan Abernathy

March 30, 2020

Putting all aside and out of mind for a bit, now that the days are growing longer and the snow covering the ground is growing shorter, it has provoked time for a walk, a soak in nature. My destination for such an event was Fremont Lake.

Fremont Lake is just a few miles from town, but so much different in the snow pack. We are in off times now. Mud season is not here and though the snow is receding, it is still here. The trails are not open as they are still drifted in and the bottom is falling out of the ski trails.

I followed a ski track for a short while before giving up to the “post holing” effect of breaking through the crust and veered off into the unpacked snow. I saw some open water at the outlet of the lake and decided that is where I wanted and needed to be.

With just about every forth step, the melting snow would settle and drop into about a four or five foot radius around me. This sinking whoosh of the snow made the next few steps easier. As I got to the outlet, there were three Trumpeter Swans swimming in the open water and three Canadian Geese on the iced edge.

I quietly stood watching and inhaling all of my surroundings. The sounds of nature were smoothing and became a sedative. The swans soon calmed from my presence and started grooming themselves while omitting guttural noises. The honkers made a fuss and turned up the volume of the scene as the pair, mated for life, was being assaulted. The third goose must have lost its partner and had tired of being alone. This goose aggression painted some chaos in my serine scene of nature.

Off in the distance a few crows added their disapproval, or perhaps their applause, with unmistakable agitated voices. I was a part of it all as I looked, felt and took deep breaths to fill myself completely with being there. My mind emptied from what was, to fill with what is.

As the sun dropped lower, I turned and headed back through a small grove of aspen. Reaching out to evoke the sensation of touch and stimulate another sense, I felt the smooth bark of an aspen tree. I was truly stunned at the difference of the Aspen.

I have touched many aspen trees throughout my life but I believe this is the first time I actually felt one. The green live trees had coolness to the touch and their living energy was felt. The brown and black aspen that no longer stood with life were rough and much warmer. This sensation and realization not only stimulated my sense of touch, it also stimulated thought. The coolness came from the moisture, the lifeblood of the living tree, just as the falling ones were warm and dry in the decay of their deathbed.

Our senses, what we see, hear and feel is how we observe. They are the conduits in which our lives are influenced. Through them we are touched with who we are. The more alive and active they are, the more we see and feel our surroundings, both the good and the bad.

Stimulating our senses is not living to wake in the morning and stumbling through the day without seeing what the day is. This is a wasted day, but yet some do. Some seemingly never wake up. They spend their day oblivious to what is around them until they again shut down for the day. Sadly this way of being often happens again the next day, and the next. It is a pattern that becomes a way of life and evolves into a life trait.

You can choose to see the world as a threat with bad experiences where negativity becomes the way of being, or as an easy out. Or, you can choose to see and experience the world as each opportunity unfolds as a new anomaly where each moment is new, now and alive.

When your path through living has been enhanced with some adventure that perhaps included a bit of thrill and danger which sparks some emotions of fear, you feel alive. It fills all the senses with life as each one is peaking with excitement.

When you experience the world and living in transformative ways all things become possible without limitations. These adrenaline laced times influence who you are to better enjoy and live the quiet times of solace. These times of serenity also fill with wonderment and amazement as again all your sense are alive.

When you slow down and look at what’s around, you will see what is there with new eyes. You will notice more. Explore your surroundings; open your eyes to see the leaves, trees, clouds, rocks and fallen branches. Observe the world for the mystical place that it is. Be there. It is not how far you walk, or how long you are there. Just immerse yourself when you are there. Be guided by your senses as you stimulate each one with completely being where you are. - dbA

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