Alaska is a magical place in the summer. Backroads’ hiking and cycling adventures immersed me in pristine wildflowers, glaciers and salmon jumping upstream. I prepared my body for the challenge by pedaling at the gym; I broke in new hiking boots walking around town. But nothing prepared my spirit for the heart stopping views.
Landing in rustic paradise, my pupils opened wide to drink in the beauty and the ever-present sun. From Palmer to Sitka to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska is an extremely enormous outdoor church.
Interconnected life thrives, supported by a circular cycle of perfection outside the reach of man’s hand. The energy here is palpable. A few days in, I notice everything seems to slightly move. Even the mountains dance, keeping company with rivers and waterfalls, and trees and grasses as they grow.
Labor Day closes the door on summer and I tuck in early, while it’s still light out. As I shut my eyes, I can almost see a moose lumbering across the road. And in my imagination, I fall asleep under Alaska’s midnight sun.
I’ve never been, but now etched upon my sight
Your streets, sidewalks, and smiling faces
Meeting you for the Yoga Festival, I am home.
Mountains stretch upward on an inhale;
Tadasana walls of granite and sandstone
Here, beauty and backpacks merge
In a haze of sweat, summoned by the climb.
Blessed by the view from the top, we are all one
Love of what the eye can see and the heart can feel
Draws us home to a place we had never been
Lately I’ve spent a fair bit of time driving south of the Mason Dixon line. The trek leads me along the mighty Ohio River through the most impoverished counties in Ohio and five of the poorest states in the USA: Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In the rural South, county, not town denotes location of residence. The nearest grocery is fifteen minutes away on lonely road at 55 mph. The horizon is flat, landmarks are churches, and the industry is agriculture, military and marine.
Waiting for a lunch of boiled shrimp, I tell the folks beside me I’m here to help a family member who is ill. They reply with, “Ya’ll enjoy your tour of duty.” Later, I stop roadside to gather up a handful of raw cotton left behind when the field was picked; the crop trucked to a Japanese owned milI. I don’t know if the men sitting on the bridge are fishing or resting, or have given up.
It is easy to look at the economic scale and compare, longing for more. But everything is relative. And here, I am “the 1%.” I see that I have all I need, and more.
The sky is bright where I live. Illumination is essential for the functionality of a city, and can provide it with a kind of beauty. But the stars are obscured from me.
On those treasured occasions when I find myself distanced from civilization, I look up toward the darkness and mysterious beauty which is always there, but not always visible to me.
Drawing #14 created with FingerPaint Glow Coloring and Doodle Drawing Free
Organized, focused, and skilled in rappelling, my friend Bob arranged a road trip to Red River Gorge in KY, where he carefully outlined all the steps to ensure our safety before we literally stepped off a cliff! This beautiful day in the woods provides great subject matter for drawing #13 of my 31 day drawing challenge.
Created on Doodle Buddy for iPad by Pinger, Inc