Orchard Fire Road – Taylor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Phil Jackson, the Black Elk, and God

Hiking with my dog onto the trails behind my apartment complex has been a existential daily experience. I like to think, for both of us. The more and more we experience this wonder, the more and more we get in tune with nature, our place in and the oneness of it all.

I feel at peace during these moments alone with Taylor and with God. And my daily conversations with Him become more and more personal.

From Phil Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops, which I read years ago, I remember reading then writing down this passage, which seems so much clearer to me today than it did then.

“Peace… comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.” Black Elk, Sacred Pipe

Emerson himself has this to say about his relationship with Nature.

“…The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other, who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows. Nature says, He is my creature, and, [in spite of] all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad with me. Not the sun or the summer alone but eery hour and season yields its tribute of delight; for every hour and change corresponds to and authorizes a different state of the mind from breathless noon to grimmest midnight. Nature is a setting that fits equally well a comic or a mourning piece. In good health, the air is a cordial of incredible virtue. Crossing a bare common in snow puddles at twilight under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear. In the woods, too, a man casts off his years as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child. In the woods is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life – no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me eyes) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground – my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space – all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God… In the tranquil landscape and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.”

This video is 6:37 long, and captures in a few minutes why I love hiking with my dog every day.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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