Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Great Sand Dunes, Colorado - Introductory Thoughts

When you first come to the entrance to the Great Sand Dunes from the parking lot, you see people far and high who appear to be walking aimlessly about on the sand. Why did they walk that far?, you wonder. It looks totally boring.

But the dunes seduce you. Each step brings new angles, new shadows, ripples in the sand, shadows of the grasses on the sand. Each step brings you to a new valley, or bowl, or ridge, that can’t be seen when you are at the base of the hills, or on the flat riverbed. Like a golf course, you can’t see many of the subtleties until you are playing the course, actually right there, active, not observing from a distance.

And such is life. We often see people doing things that look aimless and uninteresting and wonder why they do them. We should hold our judgment or assumptions until we have been on their course, living their reality, and perhaps we will see that their lives are not so aimless after all or that what they were doing could actually be of interest to us too.

Being in New Mexico has been a huge lesson in "never saying never.” I’ll never live there. I don’t get it, why do people live there? I used to say to myself. But I was the people, the beauty and the sheer adventure of being able to be myself. I now see that I can live anywhere at this point in my life, or at the very least, I have a lot more openness to what may not initially attract me strongly. I have gotten my free spirit, “curiosity about everything” vibe back again.

My lifestyle in 2005 has allowed me to live in places that in the past I might not have chosen, and to experience realities about which I previously did not feel intense interest. Through stretching, being in the adventure mode, and honoring who I am, I have rediscovered the part of me that loves the thrill and mystery of the unknown, no matter where it is. My curiosity is strong and my enjoyment of new realities is deep.

Everywhere I go now is a foreign country. Perhaps I will settle there, or perhaps I will move on. The point is to bring in the new experiences, live fully, and appreciate all of reality.