Hiking in the mountains was a beautiful way to spend the early afternoon. The sun was bright but not too hot and the trees and bushes that have overgrown the trail created many cool, shadowy sections to relax under. So many different scents filled the air, many more than one is accustomed to in the towns and city below. As one ascended step by step up the twisting trail a curious stillness moved in. There was a sense that the natural world contained everything and therefore there wasn't a single thing missing from the moment at hand. All of nature was rejoicing in itself. There were a number of lizards darting here and there and quite a few would allow one to get within a few inches of them, even allowing one to touch it on its spiny back. There was affection in these shared moments, a degree of trust along with a sense of the familiar, for in holding each others attention there was a recognition of the consciousness that we share. As one continued up the steep trail the sunlight filtered through the dense bushes creating havens of light intermingled with valleys of darkness. The stark blue sky could be seen through the dark branches lining the trail and all the contrasting colors were the magnificent characters of this day's play. This beauty engulfing one could not be touched by the people passing by, forever gossiping about their tiny lives that they've left waiting far below.
Human life, as we know it, is of little consequence in and of itself. That is, the life that we’ve put together, built up and torn down only to be built up again, lacks intrinsic worth. It is swayed by opinion, approval, and images already established in one's mind. It is in need of constant improvement and the promise of suffocating safety. It is a life which compares one with others, is concerned with its appearance, its ideas, its feelings, its judgments, its interpretations, its race, its country, its past, its future...you know, endlessly concerned with its insignificant self. It is a life that struggles, suffers, hurts, uses, and discards people on a daily basis, including itself. It is a life of loneliness, isolation, despair, rage, pain, treachery, and ugliness all buried away from view. A life we judge to be good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse, high or low, and yet will always fight to keep what we have and get rid of what we don't want. And this life, which we’ve only begun to describe, yet live each and every day, is of absolutely no consequence. Whether one points to the life that surrounds us or the life that crowds in on us from within, you arrive at the same place. There is no purpose for this life we've described, none whatsoever. You can invent any purpose you’d like or follow a purpose handed down to you by another, maybe even have the entire 'civilized' world believe your purpose is so, but a world full of people believing others amounts to nothing. What do we have to say for ourselves? You and me, the one's who are living this life and investing all our hearts in it, all our energy, scratching to get ahead, to beat our neighbor, to be respected. What is your response when you are faced with this fact that you may have never considered before now? Can you face it? It is so obviously true.
Have you ever looked up at the night sky? If you are away from the light pollution of a major city you can witness directly for yourself the weight of such tremendously empty space. Countless lights, signifying an object at least as large as the Earth, all shimmering in an empty expanse unfathomable to the senses. And here we are, under this blanket of endless space and utter silence, playing make-believe in the dark! This life we've created and accepted as so is quite honestly no more than a dream, plain and simple. It is here for a period of time and then gone, like a scripted performance on stage. Are we so attached to our character that we cannot let it drop?
Alone on that mountain trail everything was the only way it could be, alive. Even the fallen trees rotting next to the beautifully vibrant wild flowers played their part to perfection. As one walked on and observed the skyline ahead the simple fact that this mountain was alive and welcoming one to walk it was enough. There was no where else to be and no one to be there.