Three Sisters Wilderness Part 3
Happy hour. Were we not happy already? We celebrate with smoked pacific oysters on the half shell. Ok, not on the half shell, but out of a can. One of the most delicious delicacies you can bring into the backcountry is smoked oysters, readily available at most grocery stores and delicious on a cracker with a drop or two of hot sauce.
It’s the little things that satisfy the soul up here. The simple things. Take breathing. Something we do all the time, and without thought. But up here in the high country, breathing is invigorating, even decadent. How often do we take the time to just sit and breathe? I find myself indulging so much in the simple joy of breathing that it often becomes a euphoric experience. And people today are starting to realize this. We are actually paying to breathe. Yoga, meditation, martial arts, all teach us to focus on the breath. And we leave these classes feeling invigorated. But this is to be expected. For most of us wake up in the morning to a hysterical alarm clock, take a focused and efficient shower, dress in a frenzy for work, drive in traffic to get there, leave work, drive in more traffic, pick up the kids, drop off the kids, and run four yellow lights to barely make it in time for our yoga class so that we can finally breathe!! Ahhh. And now we breathe. Deep breaths, big stretches, focusing on nothing. And this, we all know, is tough after a day like this. But even if for just five full uninterrupted minutes we can forget about our busy life of details, deadlines, and obligations and focus on just the breath, it has to power to transform our day.
And so I treasure these long summer days of breathing, walking, breathing. And with a sense of gratitude and abundance, I overindulge myself in hours of this kind of ecstatic breathing. Breathing in the sounds of flowing water, chirping birds, singing insects, rustling trees. The scents and the sounds, I breathe them all in. With every breath, I become more of what surrounds me. And it all seems so ridiculously, so hysterically perfect that I can hardly contain myself any longer. And just then, at that crucial moment, a raven flies by, at eye level, and as his eye meets mine, for just a fraction of a second, he gives me a glance. A curious look that I observe to read “What? Does this one get it? No. Probably not.” And with a loud squawk of disapproval, he flies off into the canyons below.
But who am I to try to understand the complex consciousness of the mysterious black raven. If that were my purpose, I would have been born a raven, not a human. And so I breathe all of this in too, all too comfortable in my own human skin and simply let things be as they are. For how else should they be? How else could they be?