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Getting Away…

Last week was a tough one for the world. Headlines were dismal – “North Korea escalates its nuclear program”, “school shootings in Amish country”, “scandals and cover-ups in congress”, the list goes on. In light of these events, I decided to turn off my cell phone, shut-down my laptop, pack up my fly rod, and get on a plane.

I went to visit a close friend and mentor of mine who lives…well… in the middle of nowhere”. I wouldn’t even know how to describe where this place is if I wanted to and to be perfectly honest, I don’t (let’s just say the locals in this neck of the woods aren’t exactly PR hounds). What I can say, is that it was America – stripped free of the commercialization and the Babylonian nonsense most of us deal with on a regular basis – broken down with simplicity, innocence, and a vast, seemingly endless, natural beauty.

The days consisted of exploration – climbing mountains and crossing rivers – moving through the landscape silent and invisible as we were surrounded on all sides by herds of deer, antelope, and elk. Bear tracks were abundant, eagles and hawks soared overhead, and the ground seemed to move beneath our feet as mice, squirrels, snakes, and everything else imaginable scurried this way and that. The nights, canopied by the glowing stars above, were never empty either and the kind of small town hospitality I was treated to meant that there was always a home-cooked meal on the table, an open bottle of wine, and stories to be told.

My good friend and trip companion said to me at one point “Each and every one of us is the descendent of mystical people”. Powerful words, yet also quite daunting – kings and heroes, healers and shamans, scientists and philosophers – the entire legacy of human history pulses through our veins. Inspiring words yes, but how do we incorporate them into daily life? It doesn’t exactly make you feel good about walking into work on Monday morning and sitting at a desk.

For me, this is exactly why I take these trips – balance. Seeing how other people’s lives are so similar and so different from mine at the same time, helps me put things in perspective. Secondly, it is where I get my thinking done. John Muir described the wilderness of this country as his “Cathedrals”. More impressive than the halls of any man-made temple, are these original gifts of ours – we should use them, appreciate them, and protect them AT ALL COSTS.

So what was my meditation of the week? No matter what it is you do, be a warrior in your heart. Be a warrior for your own destiny, be a warrior for those in need (no matter how small or large that need is), and be a warrior for all that is true and good. Each and every one of us ARE mystical people – believe it, and live it.

Respect,
Cliff Hodges
Owner – Adventure Out LLC