Friday, January 9, 2009

From The City To The Woods

My world in the beginning looked like this, a place of leaves and trees and water runs. A place to set up a tent and live without rent or debt and to encounter Miss Nature at her best with wild winter storms, low temps and pleasant rainy nights under nylon. Here I am in 1983 in the Pisgah NF somewhere by Harpers Creek.
It all began with yoga and the military. I was servng in the USAF in 1973 when I first mentioned in a journal three things a sane person would need when separating from the service: A Kelty backpack, a sleeping bag, and a pair of boots. As my honorable discharge approached, I wanted nothing more than to simplify my life, and one big reason was my involvement with the philosophy and renunciation so strongly stressed in traditional yoga and meditation, a philosophy I followed near fanatically. This led me to idolize the bedroll of the wandering sadhu which most people, though, saw as the wanderings of a shiftless bum. Mister Oklahoma nature boy would take his fourth grade romp with toads and fossils and fields and snakes and get serious about the thing which brought him sustenance, Nature herself.
A green water bowl for my meals,
And a soft woolly blanket for my seat.
I sit sipping juice for a while as I rest in my search.
A soft blowing wind thru my hair
Gently tells me to rise and depart for the hills
And I do.
A brown stripe for earth and the clod
A white one for the thin light unbroken.
A green stripe for the trees and the wind in my lungs
A wool rug for my daily asanas.
Leaving home, the roof and bed,
Am I prepared?
A life lived well, ah,
Every moment spent enthusiastically.
A plan to shuck the outer reins
Which binding loosely yet binding still.
So, leaving home to go home
Upon my back my possessions:
Bed roll, blanket, wood and beads,
Gita Hindu bible and some almonds.

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