Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Great Sand Dunes - Inner Reflections

“.... there was another experience that I actually liked the best. I found places in the dunes where it felt like you were in a bowl. With mounds of sand rising high around me, there were no markers to orient me to where I was. I couldn’t see the mountains behind me, I couldn’t see the highest ridge ahead of me, and the sand walls blocked the sun. I was surrounded by and totally in the essence of sand and sky.

I loved this experience. While some people may have found it a bit frightening to not know where they were, being in this space felt safe, mysterious and exotic to me. I felt that I had no obligation to care about what was beyond this essence, that this was enough. While I enjoyed surfacing occasionally and getting my bearings by seeing the mountain from a ridge, I found that I liked most being in that place where my surroundings were totally alien and unfamiliar, and where I had no clue or care for what was on the “outside.” I could totally enjoy the beauty and be 100 percent present. It was a luxurious feeling…

...I realized at one point as I walked, breathed, absorbed, and reflected, that my dunes experience was a great analogy of how I am currently living my life. A great part of me loves being in the unfamiliar. I like having home bases, places to ground me, but I don’t have to be in them very often. I am curious, always wondering what is beyond where I currently am, in thought and in physical reality. I know that there are many realities and perspectives out there that I can’t even imagine, and I take joy in finding ways to discover and experience them. Traveling and mini-adventures like the Sand Dunes experience allow me to embrace new angles, new ways of seeing things, and new ways of being in the world. They are part of the practice of expanding my own personal consciousness, and being fully in the world.

As adventurous as I am, I can also be a bit timid. I get an idea and go after it or bring an experience into my life knowing that it will really stretch and inspire my imagination. But then sometimes I find my mind drawing back, trying to keep me from leaping into the full experience of what I have set up. As when I first saw the dunes and was not instantly attracted, I sometimes have to push myself to take that extra step. I tell myself to try it, that I can always leave, that there was a reason why I chose this experience in the first place. I know that there is many a surprise around the corner.

As usual, I was glad that I “tried” the Sand Dunes. And I wonder how many opportunities and miracles in life that I and others miss because we make assumptions ahead of time and don’t take that extra step to experience something new and unfamiliar…”