Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 8

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Sunny autumn skies – camp tree

Mostly sunny this morning, but a very damp 35 degrees after yesterday’s rain.  The campfire is reluctant this morning, but after awhile a cheery blaze warms me as I sit with my cup of coffee and “A New Earth,” reading about the pain-body, the condition where one identifies with one’s pain so much as to lose touch with the real person.

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Keeping my coffee warm

After breakfast I walk across the meadow, irresistibly drawn to the aspens on the hillside.  This time I find a game trail that ascends at a comfortable angle and I am soon at the aspen grove.  I take lots of photos even though the angle of the sun is not ideal.  There is quite a breeze, causing the leaves to shimmer and sparkle as they dance about.  It is really quite marvelous and I thoroughly enjoy being there.

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Leaves shimmer and sparkle as they dance about

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I walk with trees

Back at camp, I have a long cello session broken by wood gathering in the deep woods behind the camp.  I realize there is so much more to explore.  I did not have the energy for it earlier in our stay, but I feel like I’m missing out on something important.  Well, next time….  The twigs and branches that I find are really quite wet, so I reluctantly leave the magical woods

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Magical woods

and walk across the meadow to gather twigs and branches that have had more time to dry in the sun and the wind. Back at camp I continue with playing cello until Becka calls.  Someone made her angry and she calls to talk about camping because it makes her feel better.  We plan a camping date for next summer, perhaps right here.  Clifford needs to use my cell phone for a business call, so I give him the phone and head on back to the aspens.

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The sun shines low from the west

The sun is now low in the west, shining through the gap between mountain peaks.  It is cloudier this afternoon, so I have to wait for sunnier and still moments to get shots with the glow of the leaves as the sun shines through them.  Back-lit leaves of plants and shrubs also get my attention.

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Even while I wait for these photo-opp moments, I am thrilled to be here on the mountain with these lovely trees.

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Lovely aspens dance for me

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Hard to say good-bye while the sun yet shines

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Still saying good-bye

I can’t bear to leave until the sun has settled low enough that no more sunlight illumines the grove. Finally I say “good-bye” and head down the  hill, picking up chunks of wood on my way.  Back at camp, it is time for another campfire, hot tea, and journal writing. Bass Creek has been good for me.  Every day I breathe in the fresh air; I am surrounded by mountains, tall ponderosa at the meadow’s parameters look down on me, dark mysterious woods invite me to explore, and golden aspen dance for me – they have all shared their strength with me.  I am feeling healthier and more peaceful being here at Bass Creek. There are even moments of joy.  I hope to carry this joy with me as I move forward to what lies ahead.

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Moments of joy

Journey to the Creek; Journey Inward

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Finally, some real snow – light and fluffy, and enough to make the landscape new and magical.  Oh, we’ve had some snow and cold, but just enough to make walking icy and slow.  This time, however, it is irresistible for a photographer.  So, I bundle up, drape the camera over my shoulder and head out.  As I walk to the edge of town several blocks away, there are many beautiful snow-covered trees, but power lines and buildings spoil every photo that I want to take.  Once outside of town, I walk alongside the edge of the road, shuffling through the snow, keeping my distance from the traveled portion of the road.  It is a relief to be away from power lines and fences and driveways.  It is even better when I am far enough out of town to be beyond the concrete canal that encloses Placer Creek to make sure it behaves during spring run-off.

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Now I can walk along the bank above the creek.  And here it is that I take photos and more photos, loving the dark movement of the creek against the purity of the white snow and backed by snow-covered trees, dark and mysterious.

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As I walk and observe and take photos, I am thinking about my life at this moment.  Healing is a complex process.  It isn’t just a matter of incisions drawing closed, the simple healing of a wound.  The deeper wound is “how could this have happened?”  How do I know it will not happen again?  It took me so by surprise – I who had not been to a doctor in over 20 years – faced with a life-threatening condition.

A new lease on life has been given to me, but here I am, waking up with anxiety and going through my day with a sense of weariness.  Even though I approached all the procedures as openly as possible, seeing the process not as a war against cancer but as a journey back to wellness,  I still feel battle-weary.  Where does this weariness come from?  It occurs to me that even though I am busy every day, getting caught up with bookwork and housework that has fallen behind in the last several month, as well as helping out more with my husband’s non-profit, this busy-ness is without enthusiasm and sense of purpose.

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I KNOW what my purpose at this time in my life is, but I can’t seem to accomplish it in a meaningful way here and now.  I’ve always been a person with my ducks in a row, but now I feel that I’m floundering in a life that isn’t my own true life.  It is most uncomfortable.  Perhaps a time of being lost in the desert is okay, or even good and necessary, but it is still uncomfortable.   I have spent too much of my life being in resistance to “what is” – a long and difficult first marriage, more recently a move that has left me longing for a home that is no longer my home, and my family still too far away to give and receive the hugs we all need.

Placer Creek Snow 045It is a leap of faith to be totally accepting of this present state of affairs, to lovingly embrace my life as it is, with all of its uncertainties and ducks running amuck.  I want to be like this creek as it flows toward the sea, flowing effortlessly over and around the rocks in its way.  I want to be joyfully alive and surrounded by beauty.  This is my gift to share: seeking, finding, and sharing beauty.  So I will accept the floundering and look for the beauty in each and every day (and ignore the ducks as best I can).

Trout Creek in August – Part 2

Trout Creek in August – Part 2

Wednesday August 13th: Our plan is to join Katie and family for an outing to a baseball game this evening. Clifford has an important call to make at a designated time, and we have errands to run, so we leave camp as soon as we can. It is a weird day where almost nothing goes as scheduled, except for Clifford’s phone call while I visit with Mom. A heavy thunderstorm changes our plans for the evening; no baseball game for us. Just as well, as I am feeling beyond exhausted as we drive back out to the campground. The thunder-storm left twigs, small branches, and old dead trees strewn about, as well as dampening everything inside the Pony around all the windows, which had been left open. It has been hot and dry since early July. How were we to know that today was the day that the pattern would change. Luckily we have dry sleeping bags in the Blazer; other than the pillows being a bit damp, we have dry sleeping accommodations.

Thursday August 14th: It is raining and pleasantly cool. After awhile the clouds part a bit, allowing sunshine to come and go throughout the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. I do a walkabout to take photos of droplets

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before I set up a chair and table where I can look down the path to the creek.

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I just sit, allowing myself to be nurtured by nature: a still pool of water,

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trees and shrubs in many shades of green with leaves, needles, and fronds only gently stirring as little breeze fairies move among them,

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the creek with its musical sounds, the sunshine coming and going,

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birds chirping. I just sit and take it in. I write in my journal and then walk down to the creek to take more photos

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Another walkabout browsing for June berries, more nurturing by nature.

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Later, lying in the hammock, the thought crosses my mind that this is the way to have my body laid to rest rather than burial or cremation. No fear or pain this way. In the quiet of the moment I think sadly of my youngest son. What really happened to him I’ll probably never know – a burden of this life.

The afternoon brings a big thunderstorm. We stand under the awning relishing the power of nature and all the goodness of the rain, gathering several quarts of water as it runs off the awning to supplement our water supply.

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So healing to be here all day.

The Voice of the Cello

The Voice of the Cello

By Angela MacDonald

Photos by Carol Carnicom

Quiet Walk Photography

The Cello
The Cello

Like the deep vibrations of a Tibetan monk’s chant,

there is something sacred about the voice of a cello.

They say that infants feel the world in the way they did

before they were born.   They see sound, feel color, and do so

with closed eyes, their minds more expansive than the bodies they inhabit.

It is this very state of awareness so many seek to gain through meditation and prayer.

When there, it is the voice of the cello that vibrates

through the cords of the universe.

There is something that all will admit to about the cello.

A person needs only stand before a cello choir playing in unison,

and close his or her eyes.  The world you dwell in will vanish and the

realm of wizards, of magic and endless possibility will flood into you.

The mundane will take a step back, and dreams of space, of distant stars

and spinning galaxies, of deep mountains and shifting time,

of the depth of the earth, of gia, of gnomes and fairies, of the soul

will be carried to you on the rich tones of the cello.

The musician becomes a shaman, casting spells to open your mind and soul.

Creation does not recognize the instruments we hold as separate from us,

nor does it say “that is but a wooden box with strings”.  It recognizes vibration.

To the skilled musician who gives energy to the strings, the universe will say,

” Ah, there is the Great Hump Back Whale….

I sing back to you, Emerging Star….

I hear your slumbering soul  ….

Yes! We are one!!”

We are One
We are One

To all you musicians who become gods and goddesses by your creation

of the vision and by your transformation of the mundane,

“Thank You” from all who hear you,

and all those who don’t.

Author: Angela MacDonald – Daughter of a Cellist

The Cello's Voice
The Cello’s Voice