How I stay so calm and at peace in Colorado?
It's not just the quality weed, ski towns, growing number of hybrid yoga studios and overpriced teahouses. And we love them this high in the clouds!
There is a spoiled lifestyle in the Mountain State but the secret isn't just about visiting the many legal marijuana dispensaries and aura cleansing gong baths in Boulder.
Not many, likely, have ever considerably questioned these as pleasantries and attractions in Spring 2017. And others can't live without them as the snow melts west of I-25.
Clouds, creeks, and trees symbolize character in its many tender, peaceful guise in this hipster magnet state. Their allure is natural and comforting. Their attractiveness is instinctive. But we take them for granted, not all the time. It happens. Colorado has become a state of many new, wonderful distractions to its residents and visitors.
But all three form a background that is helpful to other things in our lives; Out of an airplane window leaving DIA, we catch sight of a sea of clouds over the mighty Rockies. Lovely for a moment until the crew delivers your beverage and your attention tunes to what new stupid thing Donald Trump has done.
Your good friend’s wedding was in a garden of massive old trees, they were stunning, and you climbed one to just sit in it to smoke his weed and take a nap in a bridesmaid's lap – but that was years ago, you could not have looked at a tree like that since.
There was that creek you used to love playing next to as a kid, damming up the flow like a concrete wall till your rocks were swept and finally protested away by the fresh agua. There must, theoretically, still be lots of imagination enhancing creeks and trees out there. In Colorado, it's hard not to notice them or find them if you turn around or look up. However, in most of the Adulting world, cloud, creek and tree adventure can be a rarity.
The issue is a lack of encouragement to concentrate on these components as natural teachers wherever they are. Not just the Mountain State!
In a remorselessly and busy age that is commonly practical, there are few explanations around as to what the real point of 'focus' should be. And spending seconds of close observation with clouds, creeks, and trees may, in fact, play a minor but significant supporting role in the interest of a balanced and more or less reasonable life.
We're preoccupied with ourselves in unhelpful ways. The clouds, however, are indifferent to all our worries. They don’t care about fashion or world politics. They're uninterested in rumor and gossip. They're not receptive to our social statuses or care if we're gracefully aging.
We are constantly close to these huge, things that are quiet giants looming in gravity above us. They inch their way across the skies, slowly losing definition as we figure out if their Pictionary clue is a fierce dragon or the face of your 10th grade math teacher (same-same). Ten minutes later it is scarcely recognizable to anything. And not soon after that, it merges with another cloud, and its short individual career is over!
Islands of clouds form, make chains, states, empires, subsequently, float and break up – like a peaceful, quiet, painless repetition of the violent mayhem of human history. There's a constant drama above our heads: tears, wrecks, swirls, separations. Human life isn't any less busy, but nevertheless, it can mean a moment of relief from our particular involvements to look up on occasion and be returned to a more comprehensive perspective. A cloud from where agitations of the present moment will appear less significant – as they will for us also with time.
They are a picture of patience, and resolution. Their gnarled, distressed barks speak of the hundreds of seasons they've endured along the Colorado front-range. They've bent and lost branches in winter winds, they've been gnawed at by worms and bugs across the airless days of July. They are hacked and have been knocked about by farmers and gardeners for generations. However, they last as we might learn to do through their examples. It’s an unhelpful bias of the Western mind to think about philosophy as emanating just from books rather than as the Eastern tradition shrewdly points out, from the volumes of nature.
The trees sit out rainy days without criticism, adjusting themselves to the slow shift of the seasons. Showing no ill temper in a storm, no desire to wander with their many slim fingers deep in moist soil. Their main stalks support meters away from wet dirt and far from the tallest leaves that harness rainwater in some 40,000 of their little palms.
The trees are a meek instruction in the cycle of life as well. Resplendent in the summer sunshine, all those leaves, will be gone by the end of October and return in springtime. Human life is also unstoppable, but nevertheless, it could be the grounding teachings of trees that we can come to take the lesson with greater ease. The stiffening of our skin, facial lines, as well as our thinning hair may recast as a melancholy requirement as opposed to an unreasonable tragedy or gift.
Creeks are regularly communicating: whispering, exclaiming, claiming a rock or twig, confiding in a quiet vortex, dozing in summer or yelling after a massive storm.
Like good old fires, they offer a great object of contemplation for us when we're striving to think. Their constant task enlivens our imaginations. They deflect our heads only enough that the great thoughts; the ones that hate to be requested immediately to an issue, can feel relieved of pressure and just slip out. We follow water as it rises gracefully to meet the objections of a group of stubborn rocks just below the surface of our minds.
Creeks warn us also that we must take care to hold on to those ideas, for our minds are no less fugitive than their natural lifestyle. We get an insight, but in moments, it'll vanish like a twig in the current, unless we grab it at once.
We should not leave the encounter with creeks, trees or clouds to chance alone. We should ideally have events and collective routines around them to edge us into healthy habits. Maybe for a moment before lunch, we'd ritually pause and look in the clouds sitting in a tree talking to a creek.
If it does not contain five minutes given over to a river, tree or the clouds; no week ought to be counted as a whole.
We too quickly lose touch with all the saner and better aspects of ourselves. Someplace inside us, we've got the capacity for reason and calm, tenderness and thoughtfulness. Trees clouds and creeks are on hand
to help us :)
Happy Spring Equinox.