I’ve now lived in Corvallis, Oregon for almost 9 years. We moved to Corvallis in 2012 for my graduate school education, which I am happy to report has been complete for many years.
Corvallis is a small town located in the Willamette Valley, about 90 miles South of Portland, and 50 miles North of Eugene. It is a quaint little city with approximately 56,000 residents, and home to Oregon State University.
I’ve been hiking around Corvallis for years, and yet never hiked the McDonald Research Forest until about 3 years ago. There are a plethora of trails, of all difficulty levels, within the research forest, with beautiful views.
Last week, I hiked the Vineyard Mountain Trail, which is of moderate difficulty, and is about 3.4 miles, if you do the whole loop. On the hike, you get to take in the forest in all of its beauty, which includes many different types of plants, trees, and flowers, and, if you are lucky and it is quiet, which it usually is, some birds. Beautiful.
Here are some pictures from my hike last week.
As I hiked the Vineyard Mountain Trail last week, I was present to the beauty of nature; and, the beauty in being present with nature. When we are fully present, all of life takes on richer and deeper colors; the vibrancy of which is stunning. Lovely.
Alright, as I mentioned in a previously published diary entry, this post is part of one of my new spring and summer series. In this series, I will take in a different hike every week or so, and then write about my reflections.
Thus, we will get to wander and wonder throughout the Willamette Valley together. Fun.
This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon my emotions, as you might have noticed and/or read about in some of my poems. As we continue to move forward with vaccinations, it occurs to me that there will be emotions about the pandemic that will arise for all of us. Some we will see coming, some we will not.
Before we discuss this topic more, let’s take a look at the writing that occured this week, and the writing slated for next week.
This past week, I found myself drawn more to poetry. In fact, in the past two weeks, I’ve written about 10 new poems. All of which, I will share in the coming weeks. I’ve been feeling moved this week by several concepts, which did make their way into the following pieces.
The poem Keeps was initially inspired by the WDYS #74 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. The prompt this week reminded me of my hikes in the local area in which I live. Hikes where I am present to only my footing, the scenery, such as the earth, the foliage, the beautiful sky, and any wildlife that comes by. Beautiful.
As thoughts enter my mind, I let them pass through, and remain in that moment, just walking along the trail being one with the Nature that surrounds me.
It is quite meditative to walk, practice your breathing, and just listen and watch. There is healing in each foot step, each breath, and in each moment. If you’ve not tried meditative walking/hiking, I suggest giving it a try.
The poem Elixir was an acknowledgement to the present moment and the illusion of time. I’ve written several times about the social construction of time, and when you really understand that time, in fact, is illusory, you are freed from self-imposed limits bound in time.
We all live outside of time, yet also live in it, as we choose. A paradox, and not.
As I mentioned previously, I’ve created a bunch of new poems, and am excited to get them scheduled. I feel more poetry coming, so will continue to write and reflect on new concepts and insights as they come.
I am also continuing to work on a post on silence. I had an insight this week about a post on communication, and will probably start that sometime in the next week or two.
Alas, I’ve not made much progress on the Leadership from Within series. Though I’ve not made much progress yet, I will continue to endeavor to write this series. I see it as a possible book in the future, and have a lot of thinking and feeling about the topic to share.
Vaccinations are opening up more here locally. In fact, I am pleased to report that I am on an official waitlist for my first dose. I was told I should get a call in the next week or two.
Though I am pleased about this progress, both as a State and a Country, I realize that there is much work to do across this country and the world to ensure that everyone that wants a vaccination has access.
I will not pretend to know the answers to this issue. I will say, however, that I look forward to a day when those in legislative positions and positions of power in this country and around the globe think more collectively and collaboratively about serving the common good, which includes all of humanity. Everyone, everywhere.
With anticipation and excitement also comes apprehension, fear, and indifference. It’s just how it works. Which means that whereas some people will feel the former, some will feel the latter, and many of us will feel both.
When I was told that I would be put on a waiting list for my first dose of the vaccine, I was excited and anxious. Excited about the movement, and anxious about the unknown.
It is important for me to stay grounded in the current reality, which, yes, includes the vaccination being distributed to more and more people across the State. The current reality also includes, however, the fact that some people will not want to get the vaccine and some will not have access to the vaccine due to systematic inequalities in this country and around the world.
The latter of which fills me with sadness.
It also occurs to me that the landscape of how the pandemic, and respective responses to it from a systems and organizational perspective, are still completely unknown. Which simply means taking things as they come, developing plans and iterating those plans as needed, to ensure we continue to serve as many people as possible with educational options that fit their needs. Important.
The invitation I will send out to the team this week will be to recognize the emotions as they come for what they are. Responses to stimuli in your environment, and in your mind. Meaning, emotions are something we get and feel, they are not who we are.
Emotions, like our thoughts, do not define us. We choose.
Alright, that’s all for this week.
Have a wonderful week and please stay healthy and well.
I’ll have more to say about the book at a later date. For now, insights abound inside of the discussion created by the narrator, and Ramana. It is beautiful.
Well, in no way could I have foretold earlier this year, that I would have 200+ of you with me on this wonderful writing journey. And, you know, it’s more than that.
More than writing that is. Much more. How? Yep. Here we go.
The experience I’ve had this year has been unlike any I’ve had before. Why? Well, yes, part of it is the writing. Being back at my computer writing from both my head and heart is, for sure, a wonderful experience.
And, yet, you know what I’ve enjoyed most? Connecting and interacting with each of you. Really. I’ve had such a wonderful time reading all of your work. Such an inspiration. All of you.
From the exposes on spirituality, leadership and self-development, to the wonderful poems, fictions, artwork, pictures, challenges, recipes, and book reviews. All of it. Every single ounce of it. I love it all.
Know this. Ready? Good.
You are very much appreciated. Each of you. For being with me on this journey. From my heart to each of yours, thank you; and, thank you for allowing me to read about you and your life. A wonder.
I look forward to continuing this journey with each of you. As a matter of fact, it’s just about time to go check out what all of you have been up to. Fun.
Right, well that’s about it for this entry. Well, just a minute, one more thing, okay. Ready? Here we go.
Remember, when things get tough, and goodness knows we’ve had a lot of that this year, keep breathing, keep doing, and keep moving yourself forward.
You are an inspiration. You are beautiful. You are loved.