Sometimes in this world we need to escape. For some it is gluttony (getting lost in a plate of food), for others it is the all consuming alcohol, for many it is some synthetic drug of choice. For me it is the solitude of a beautiful landscape that dissects calm from chaos, clarity from confusion, and inner peace from anarchy.
Today we are faced with a nation divided. The values, human interaction, mannered behavior, and respectful discourse seem to be lost in the past. We can only hope that through random acts of kindness we can bring back the spirit that clarified our ability to interact humanely with others. This benevolent behavior doesn't rely on settled political issues but is a result of the inner peace we all seek to live a compassionate and healthy life.
Within this framework we search for balance and the strength of spiritual commitment that comes from self reflection and discipline. This journey takes us through many different mind scapes that are revealed through interaction, experience, and in many cases the vicissitudes of life. As we grow older we have hopefully learned to adjust to the changes that occur in our small world thus realizing how important our friends and family are within this world.
When I needed to get back to center I was blessed to have grown up in Marin County, California. This is certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth. I would drive to Mount Tamalpais over the Alpine Dam Bridge in Fairfax coming up the back side of the mountain. There I would first go to Cataract Falls to bath in the negative ions from the energy of the falls that enhance oxygen to the brain thus increasing your mental energy. From there it was up the mountain and through the woods.
However, instead of going to grandmothers house I would go to my "Secret Place". While I can't tell you exactly where this is I will offer the following description: Near the top of Mount Tam lies a magical place somewhere in-between Middle Earth and Shangri-La.
Hiking down from your car you encounter a steep slope with a view of the Pacific Ocean. As you carefully navigate the loose rock and slippery slope you come to a grove of trees... inside that nest of trees there is a rock that looks like a slate table (It forms the perfect perch for two). I always bring a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine. This extends the moment in time and provides a wonderful sensory experience.
In front of you is the Pacific Ocean, to the right is Point Reyes, to the left is San Francisco. Below you is a radiant green meadow that cascades into forest. On many occasions there are red tailed hawks circling over head along with hang gliders sailing in a cross vent pattern providing a rhythmic dance destined to land on Stinson Beach far below.
If you are lucky enough to find such a beautiful place that relaxes your being... then enjoy the solitude and remember the idiomatic expression that is your life.
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