Solitude, the Gift of Rebirth.

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Solitude, the gift of rebirth.

My birthday, the big one, the kind that relatives flock around you,

friends adore you, family loves you, and I retreated.

To be alone.

The best gift of self, to reconnect with your true self.

***

“A man becomes a solitary at the moment when,

no matter what may be his external surroundings,

he is suddenly aware of his own inalienable solitude

and sees that he will never be anything but solitary.”

                                                       Thoughts of Solitude, by Thomas Merton

***

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The Day

Begins and ends with a walk,

not quite alone, as you can see.

***

hartley.cabin

The Place

The cabin, 6,300′ above sea level, featuring the stream,

the river, nature in true form,

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest.

Summer, yet at this elevation it is spring.

***

The Gift:

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Douglas Creek Falls.

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The batholith, 65 million years ago I would be deep inside a volcano.

What is time,

but the tilt of the planet,

in relation to its traverse around the sun?

***

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Life, with all its challenges…

“All truly contemplative souls have this in common:

not that they gather exclusively in the desert,

or they shut themselves up in reclusion,

but they are where He is, 

there they are.”

                                                                      Thoughts of Solitude, by Thomas Merton

***

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Life clings to rock.

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A natural spring which drains into the meadow,

and Delphinium Polycladon, Mountain Marsh Larkspur.

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Stream to meadow, wildflowers along the bank.

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Gentianopsis holopetela, or Sierra fringed gentian.

“Although he is a traveler in time,

he has opened his eyes,

for a moment,

in eternity.”

                                                                                    Thoughts of Solitude, by Thomas Merton

***

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Wild Orchid.

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Fritillaria recurva, or scarlet fritillary.

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Mentzelia laevicaulis, the blazing star.

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Achillea millefolium, Common Yarrow or Milfoil.

“In ancient times in instituting the system of Change,

the sages, with the hidden assistance of spiritual intelligence,

created the system of divination by the use of milfoil stocks.

                                                                       The Book of Changes (I Ching)

***

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Wyethia mollis, or mules ears.

“Once I, Chuang Chou, dreamed that I was a butterfly

and was happy as a butterfly.

I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself,

but I did not know that I was Chou.

Suddenly I awoke, and there I was, visibly Chou.

I do not know whether it was Chou dreaming

that he was a butterfly

or the butterfly dreaming that it was Chou.”

                                               The Chuang Tzu

***

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Lilium parvum, or alpine lily.

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Sulfur Buckwheat.

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Erigeron breweri Gray, Brewer’s Fleabane.

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Hyperiycum perforatum L., Saint John’s wort.

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The South Fork of the Stanislaus River.

“On the further bank the willows wept in perpetual lamentation,

their hair about their shoulders. The river reflected whatever it chose

of sky and bridge and burning tree. There one might have sat the clock round

lost in thought.

Thought – to call it by a prouder name than it deserved -

had let its line down the stream.

It swayed, minute after minute, hither and thither among the reflections

and the weeds, letting the water lift it and sink it,

until – you know the little tug -

the sudden conglomeration of an idea at the end of one’s line:

and then the cautious hauling of it in, and the careful laying of it out?

Alas, laid on the grass how small, how insignificant this thought

of mine looked; the sort of fish that a good fisherman puts back into

the water so that it may grow fatter and be one day worth

the cooking and eating.”

                                           A Rooms of One’s Own, Virginia Wolf

***

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Trout, home of the otter and beaver who are now seldom seen.

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Douglas Creek, a gravity flow water source.

“If only the present moment exists, 

in actuality water does not flow.

It is a metaphor of our experience of time.”

                                                                    Philosopher Seng-Chao (384-414 CE.)

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Mint.

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Wild Rose.

“For inner silence depends on a continual seeking,

a continual crying in the night,

a repeated bending over the abyss.”

                                                         Thoughts of Solitude, by Thomas Merton

***

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Dudleya cymosa and Sedum obtusatum, Sierra Stonecrop (hen and chicks).

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Calochortus venustus, White Mariposa Lily.

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Ribes sanguineum, also known as blood currant.

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Currant. A tasty treat.

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Inky Cap mushroom.

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Ground mushroom.

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Toadstool or mushroom. Do not eat!

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Home of the Antlion. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antlion 

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Gooseberry.

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Manzanita Bark.

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Woodpeckers store acorns in these holes.

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Doe and fawn visit.

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***

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 I view the artist as person who can step outside of self, 

a person that allows the unknown to emerge.

The expanding nature of the universe accommodates

the development of future new events. 

The metaphor of water,

follows the development of the self,

who rides the flowing expansion,

conforming, accepting, and releasing the past.

   ***

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***

“The motive of science was the extension of man, an all sided into nature,

tell his hands should touch the stars, 

his eyes see through the earth,

his ears understand the language of the beast and bud,

and the sense of the wind;

and through his sympathy,

heaven and earth should talk to him.”

Essays and TraitsBeauty, Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

Photos: D.A. Hartley

***

Please help preserve this beautiful planet, and the Nature that I love.

***

http://www.350.org

***

Please join the Sierra Club:

http://www.sierraclub.org/

Thank you!

Dear friends,

The action isn’t all in DC.

It’s true that tens of thousands of people will converge in Washington, DC for the largest action against climate change in US history, but we understand that not everyone can make the trip.

In fact, there’s important work to be done all across the country — from divesting our schools and cities from fossil fuels, to keeping the pressure on politicians who want to build Keystone XL no matter what Obama says.

That’s why there’s a solidarity rally being organized in your area on the 17th, and we hope you can join. Here are the details:

WHEN: Sunday, February 17th, 1-3pm
WHERE: One Market Plaza, 1 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94105
WHAT: Join over 70 organizations and thousands of citizens to encircle the State Department Office at One Market Plaza. Demand that the Department reject the permit for Keystone XL.

Click here to RSVP: www.350bayarea.org/forward_on_climate_bay_area_rally

This will be the biggest climate march that we know of in Bay Area history, with folks coming from as far away as Sacramento and Santa Cruz. California has made extraordinary and bold progress toward halting the climate crisis, but if Obama does not take similarly bold action, our state will suffer the consequences along with the rest of the world.

Solidarity events like this are how we show there is a nation-wide climate movement united against Keystone XL and climate change. We look forward to seeing you in the streets, be they in DC or otherwise!

Forward,

Ashley

Ronald E. Powaski has written about the Trappi...

Ronald E. Powaski has written about the Trappist monk, peace activist, and writer, Thomas Merton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles B...

Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford Deutsch: Die zwanzigjährige Virginia Woolf, fotografiert von George Charles Beresford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

11 thoughts on “Solitude, the Gift of Rebirth.

  1. My children — six of them — are scattered about, the nearest four hours away, the furthest an ocean away. I miss them, and rejoice mightily when any of them show up on the doorstep (as, thankfully, they all do now and then).
    Still, I welcome solitude. All the advice to make new friends, join clubs, socialize is well intended, and mostly I follow it, but those giving it seem not to realize that solitude also is a way to cherish life. It is, moreover, a step toward accepting the end of life.
    Sorry, hadn’t meant to get all old-man philosophical, only to say how lovely your site is.
    And happy birthday, whenever it was. Love your choice of celebratory nourishment.

  2. Hi Phil,
    We have something in common, I have many children! They are out and about in the world, and now I cherish my solitude! Artists and writers need solitude to create, but for me family always comes first!
    Thank you for your ‘birthday wishes’, which was last summer. Hopefully the cabin is buried under snow; our town gets our water from that watershed.

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