And the Standing People Say . . .

Each day right now bears some similarities, and also many differences.

As I drive out to the next trailhead there is a certain level of anxiety encroaching.

That’s the similarity.

But it’s not my anxiety.  It belongs to others.

The difference is, I will be in yet another amazing place hiking in just a few short miles.  And it will be completely different from the path I walked just a few miles in the opposite direction – so many biomes.  So much diversity.

As my mind passively drifts to Nature’s beauty that awaits, the driver behind me gets dangerously close to my rear bumper.  In fact, I’ve joked that I need some type of pop-up sign to spring forth from the rear hatch inviting them park their vehicle in the back of my car.  😊

He backs off, then charges.  Repeatedly.

Had he only looked at the speed limit.  Had he only looked ahead, down the road, where Mama Elk was crossing with her calf.  Had he only looked at the cars in front of me.  Had he only noticed the sign that a passing lane was only half a mile down the road.

No, I haven’t figured out how to exceed the laws of physics and drive my car miraculously through the car in front of me so the driver behind me may move faster.

Faster to get nowhere.

Nor do I care to mow down an innocent Elk calf to appease his nonsense.

What’s the purpose of this ego-charged, obnoxious display?  I can only guess.  But he finally does pass, at 20 miles or so above the speed limit, flooring it, flipping me off.  And he jockeys wildly in and out of lanes, landing in front of three cars ahead of me by putting every driver, including the oncoming ones, at grave risk.

And for what purpose?

There is only one road that passes here between points A and B.  And it’s no surprise when I pull up next to the very same guy at the stop light in the next town ten miles down the road.  No gain in time or distance, only the spread of hostility.  Of anger and discontent, stemming from an over-inflated sense of self-importance.  That his time and place is more important than anyone else’s.  Their safety be damned!  Get out of his way!

But I shouldn’t judge.

I have no idea what demons he struggles with.  And I certainly shouldn’t allow his negativity to affect my day.

No, I’ll be standing among eighty-five-foot tall trees.  Ponderosa and Lodgepole pine.  Douglas fir. Red Alder, Hemlock, and Big Leaf Maple. Western Juniper.  Grand Fir.

The Standing People.

It is said by the First Nations’ people that we humans used to know how to talk to the plants and the animals.  But genocide, both physical and cultural, prevented these traditional practices from being passed on.  Over time, and societal evolution, we destroyed or forgot those languages.  Much to our detriment.

So as I leave modernity behind, and return to the real world, I wait.  Patiently.  In the middle of the forest.

And I ask.  What is the lesson you can give me today?  I can feel their vibrations.  Their overwhelming presence.  Watch them sway in the breeze.  Bending but not giving way.  The answer is obvious.

Patience and Tolerance.

What drives (pun intended) those anxious folks has nothing to do with you or anyone else.  Those are their issues, and theirs alone.  They own them.  Can’t get trapped in their energy fields.  Or let them ruin the peace and serenity of your day.  Your life.

In fact, the more we detach from other’s negative inputs, and the more positive energy we spread, the better for all.

While it’s easy to say I could have reached this conclusion without the consultation in Nature, it is so much simpler when you’re in a quiet and beautiful place.  And it’s demonstrated so overpoweringly.

You have to be a little observant and have a bit of respect for your elders.  These trees, many of them, are over a hundred years old.  They might just know a little something about living.  About life in general.  About how we’re all interconnected.  How we all breathe the same air.  Absorb nutrients from the soil.  Drink from the seas.

And how we can see, hear, and feel each other.

And yes, share wisdom.

In Metta


Photo:  Standing in the real world.

Green Lakes - on the Trail to Them

21 thoughts on “And the Standing People Say . . .”

  1. I love this post! Reading your words makes me think about a book that I am currently reading that I got out of the library, and that you might possibly enjoy (“The hidden life of trees : what they feel, how they communicate : discoveries from a secret world “/ Peter Wohlleben ; foreword by Tim Flannery ; [English translation, Jane Billinghurst]
    Wohlleben, Peter, 1964- author.
    Non Fiction | David Suzuki Institute, Greystone Books | 2016. I cannot believe how gorgeous this photo is. I am so thrilled for you that you are going to be able to walk surrounded by all of this incredible beauty…takes my breath away just looking at the picture. I agree completely with all that you say here (my humble opinion only). Thank you for sharing. ❤ Maureen C.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My husband is now long retired from London’s Metropolitan Police, but his Class 1 Advanced Driving skills remain with him. Since travelling with him and hearing his stories, I’ve learned the point of looking way ahead on the road, staying back from the car in front, watching oncoming traffic and the cars behind and taking time to assess. We are often overtaken by idiot drivers on our straight Fenland roads, only to pull up behind them at the next level crossing. Accidents are frequent in our area, with cars ending up in dykes or rivers while trying to avoid idiot overtakers coming at them.
    My husband also tells me of his early days as a bobby on the beat in the 70s, when he was taught to stroll at snail’s pace because ‘you notice more when you’re not in a hurry’ – a truth that was lost to London’s streets when patrols later took to Panda cars.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing those insights. Especially about slowing down and observing. People, sadly are in such a hurry they no longer see the world, and they don’t see how destructive their own actions can be

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that ! “Bumper bashers” Yes, something has gone totally wrong in this world. We used to live in harmony with Nature, but we created systems of exchange, money, which no long focus on “living” but instead focus on destruction and consumption. The real price is unhappiness, anxiety, and fear.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We have so much to learn from Nature. What has Nature learned from us? Will we always be a student and never the teacher? Your picture is poetry without a single word. The trees say thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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