SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS
Places to stop along the Great Lakes in Ontario
Mind Body and… Spirit
I'm not going to push my version of God or religion. instead, I'm pushing a chance for you to consider your own spirituality. your journey of discovery while camping out in nature.
With the solitude of travelling alone comes a lot of introspection. For the first few days, you struggle with the unrest you feel in society…I should be doing something? Where should I go? I want, I need. At that point in time you start to quiet down and embrace that same quietness. The new silence leaves room for introspection. a chance to examine your world and the people in it.
As your mind follows that stream, it inevitably leads to a spiritual examination as well.
The closeness to nature. The immensity of the stars. The majesty of creation.
I believe even the most atheistic person will discover themselves talking to someone if they're quiet enough for long enough.
Meditation? It becomes natural like breathing.
How best to phrase this, God, god or the universe, I don't care what your beliefs are. you will feel closer to creation.
The eschewing of society, all of its first world made up problems and imaginary stressors makes a simple task of finding balance. I talk to animals, the wind and my God all the time, giving thanks. I also do my best to treat all of it with respect, anthropomorphizing it all. Sitting silently you observe small animals and insects as well as plants you would have missed otherwise. In this closeness to nature, you also find bounty outside of your supplies. Berries. Mushrooms. Peapods on the beach.
You also conform to Nature's will.
In the cities, in our homes, we experience an artificial and misguided sense of control or power over nature. This is in spite of being aware logically that the earth could erase it all with a shrug. Being out on your own with the minimum of equipment, you quickly realize you will also need to be flexible and creative as the truth to ‘if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans' comes home to roost. You learn to go with the flow instead of struggling against it; you'd just lose anyway.
You discover your own harmony with nature, your own inner balance, and oneness with everything.
You let go and encounter the version of yourself that was hidden in the noise and desires.
Being alone and not fearing the judgement of others, I find myself dancing alone on beaches celebrating life with a gratitude, exuberance and exultation I usually keep inhibited. This primal behaviour feels like what I'd imagine our ancestors felt once bringing me closer to them. Nature has become my friend and my adversary depending on her mood.
This part of your journey is yours and yours alone, but you will live in it, that I can assure you.
I also practice rock balancing while traveling to find the quiet in myself. This creation from the elements around me forces me to engage with that very moment...to be there with the rock in my hands. A wandering mind, eye contact with a stranger or a fly landing on my hand can send my creations crashing to the ground. Same rocks piled in the same order will still be unique from every other creation I build. Like a snowflake the possible combinations are infinite and individual. They are also temporary, mortal with a limited existence. A life of its own. Some even go so far as to consider each stone is a prayer, but that is the individual experience and will be just as unique as the cairns themselves. You can see examples of this artistic meditation on my gallery page.
© sleeping under the stars 2021