April 13, 2023

Often, I tell people that I’m going to disappear into the woods. The look on their faces is often one of, “what does that mean?” The answer is along the continuum from simple to complex.

I wake and meditate. Listening to R. Carlos Nakai and his Lakota music wraps me in a warm meandering along with the movement of the Earth, the planets, the stars, and the ever-expanding energy of the Universe. If no source of music, I hum what I remember. My mind floats toward a contemplation of reality. What is this moment about? I listen and feel for the weather. The wind. The rain. The sounds of the trees and forest entwined. My body begins to unfold as my energy peeks through my skin not sure, yet, of how to be.

If camping or in a cabin, I make coffee. I inhale the aroma of the freshly ground beans. I eat oatmeal. Always oatmeal. More often than not, I read poetry or contemplative literature from myriad sources. Nothing harsh or directive. Mostly soft and exploring. I listen to my conscience. My past presses through, and I stuff it into a compartment for a later time. I stay in the moment.

And I sit.

That’s all. I sit.

Years hence, I’d be busy. I’d be into the minutes and hours ahead of me and lose my day before it ever started. But now, I do nothing.

If not outside, I open a window, or windows and doors. No matter the temperature or the moisture, the air soothes open wounds from the sleep, from the dreams and thoughts during the dark times. And not because there was no sun, but because the mind tends to drift into a dark past of worry and hurt and healing is necessary. Love of oneself is crucial. Difficult, but crucial.

I rise and I step into the moment. I smell the air. I look at the ground to see who or what may have traversed my space during the night. I watch for birds and bugs. I stare into the web of a spider, into the droplets of dew clinging along the silk. I listen, again. And I do nothing, again. I may stand for several minutes. Time is superfluous, so I have no idea how long, but I stand – or sit, if a log, a rock, or seat avails itself.

If dressed for the environs, I walk the river or along a beach. Perhaps a quiet path or road. Noise is harrowing, so I avoid it – even the noise arising in my conscience. It’s not time yet. My hope is for the sounds of Nature surrounding me. Not in front of me, but all around me.

It is wherever I end up that I then plan for the next moment. Maybe a hike. A bike ride. The kayak may call and ask for a passenger. If the cold wind brushes my skin, and the raw of Nature whispers a harsh note, I heed the warning, but don’t chafe from the adventure. Whatever I choose, I will be gone for a long while. I know this to be true, for this is where I disappear.

stewert james

The Author

An author with a story. Living in a quiet Northern Michigan community, nestled into a serene Lake Michigan bay, James writes to the rhythms of current events mixed with romanticism and experience that can only be found by living the same adventures. Whether it’s a provocative story line or blog, this website will certainly take you beyond the keyboard.


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