Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mountains to climb, vistas to view, reflections and promises

Also posted on New  Horizons Small "Zones of Peace" Project blog site (with a somewhat different ending. Check it out.)
I needed that Veterans’ Day Hike we took, back two weeks or so ago; the Sunday after the elections. Most especially, I needed to reach a certain scenic overlook and immerse myself in the spaciousness of it, as well as its historical significance.  I was after that experience of awe that is so much a part of my inner landscape when it meets the outer and all is well, as it should be.  Nothing in this world can compare.
Maryland Heights
scenic overlook
There hasn’t been much awe of late. The threat and upheaval of Hurricane Sandy had prompted me to stay with neighbors for a few days where, along with good company and the comforting presence of a generator, we worried  about the storm and kept ourselves informed, communally, about it, minute by minute, and about others not as fortunate as ourselves.

Then there was the cancelling of our Overcoming Polarization kickoff event, resulting from the hurricane.  My volunteer team and myself had looked forward to the event and had put effort into it for months.  Now our only accrued benefit was a large supply of stale-dated fliers . Next it was the election, with its front runner campaign hostilities that had been high level stress, to say the least.
The combination of these circumstances had, definitely, gotten my, generally well-balanced, relatively contented emotional system askew.

Thus by Veterans’ Day, I, hungrily, felt the need to be at this one spot, particularly; the scenic peak at Maryland Heights, overlooking the historical town of Harpers Ferry. From high up here you can visually re-trace the route, along the C & O Canal, where John Brown made his approach to hit the town, attempting  to generate an uprising in rebellion of slavery. Brown had taken the armory and hostages and then been taken prisoner here, himself, after his effort failed. 
Not long after, Harpers Ferry and its surrounding environs became home to cannonball batteries for both Union and Confederate soldiers, armed to do damage to the “others” as well as the land. Here they had seized the highlands to lodge their Civil War encampments and stake out the “enemy;” the enemy they would come to know later as themselves, when the country, at last, began to heal from its war torn divisions.

Since I have lived in these mountains, surrounding Harpers Ferry, I have done my best to visit these sites, at least once a year, and bring others with me. On Veterans’ Day, our mission specifically includes giving thanks to veterans, past and present, for their sacrifices for our freedom. This Sunday, however, the only real battles, close by, had been in the political arena where, thank goodness, no real blood had been shed.  
The view from this height and position allows one to see the town, the rivers and the mountains that embrace them for miles around. The scene is so majestic, from both the heights and the ground, as to have prompted Thomas Jefferson to describe it  as “worth a voyage across the seas” at a time when peace reigned. In particular, Jefferson was describing the confluence (or flowing together) of the two beautiful  rivers, the Potomac and the Shenandoah, that happens here.

I could have stayed at the overlook all day, even into the night, once we reached it. The sunset would have been glorious. I wished we could have stayed to see it. We had been gifted with such a clear, crisp Indian summer day for our hike. I wanted to linger on at this peak, feeling the “awe” that seemed illusive in recent past weeks. On this Veteran’s Day, I, hungrily, sought the clear view, the challenge of the climb and the clean, fresh air of that Maryland Heights vista, remembrances and gratitude.

But I was with a group of people,  enthusiastic responders to my invitation to do this (almost, annual) New Horizons’ Veterans’ Day hike and, having reached this spot, after close to four hours of hiking with about another hour, yet, to reach ground level, again, they were  eager to get back down.

Still hungry for something, somehow left behind for me at that peak, I have been drawn, ever since, to reflect, not infrequently, as to what my lingering sense of deprivation since that day has been about. This morning it came clear to me.

In blindness I had learned, in my mind, to climb many mountain peaks (with Murat as my guide). This day, Veterans’ Day, I yearned, almost desperately,  to experience another confluence; the one that brings my inner landscape into a beautiful flow with the outer. I want, only, to celebrate opportunities like this,  now that I can SEE with my new eyes/corneas once more!  
I need to keep SEEING and experiencing, again and again, the awe that is truly present inside of me, on the ground or at high level heights, and behold all that I can of that confluence with other people and nature. I knew I could experience and SEE this flow at the Maryland Heights scenic overlook.

It is this feeling of rightness, inside every cell of my being, in unity and peace with all people and all of life for which I hunger.  So, having reached this clarity, once again, today, it is time for me to get back to my postings here and do whatever is the next right thing for me, ground level and beyond, in our brave new world, post Election 2012. I have much to offer to our possible society in motion.
I hope I have been missed.

I return, like any other hero of a thousand miles, with many stories to tell from the past and the present, pledging, again, to do my best. Particularly, I want to share what I learned from living and working in a Camelot tainted by the dark side of politics and politicians. Mostly, however, I want to offer what I know that might be of some benefit to others regarding how to deal with the dark side of Washington politics and politicians.
It is very important that I, now, pass this on -- with the greatest of gratitude that I can, once again, SEE with both my mind and my eyes and SAY what is mine to say.

More to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment