One Man's Paradise

Sainte Terre

“Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre’, ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.”

John Muir


There are many things about winter that I like. The transformation of the mountains into pristine walls and ridges of snow and ice is probably my favorite aspect of the cold and dark season. When the storm clouds lift and some of that fresh, untouched powder is exposed, that’s when mountains turn into altars, as others have said.

Amen.

 

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Mixed bag

Into the White

We have been watching winter movies playing in remote places lately. Yesterday it was “Into the White”, a Norwegian movie by director Petter Næss.

A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in a remote shelter in the midst of winter during WW II after crashing their planes in the Norwegian wilderness. Not a war movie, but a great portrait of humanity based on true events.


Some critics said the movie has soul, I concur.
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On the Road

White Sands

“Solitude is fine

but you need someone

to tell that solitude is fine.”

Honoré de Balzac


After spending a few days in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico I needed to share this picture with you. What a fine place to experience solitude…

Or detonate the first atomic bomb, or drop training missiles…

The approaching storm certainly looked threatening, however no significant precipitation resulted from this warm front. It’s a desert in the end. 10 inches of rain may fall in a year. The mountains in the distance even receive a couple inches of snow.

The dunes of White Sands are mostly composed of gypsum, a white hydrous mineral, very different from other sand dunes of the West. The dunes are white as snow, and have a strange wet feel to it. The sand is deposited by wind from a nearby Lake Lucero.

The Park Service allows camping and hiking in this amazing playground.

Where did you find solitude?

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Life

Shine Your Light…

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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

“Shine your light
and make a positive impact on the world;
there is nothing so honorable as
helping improve the lives of others.”

Roy T. Bennett


I wish at the end of my days somebody tells me, I had a positive impact on the world. There are many ways to help out others in need. What will you do to make the world a better place?

Black Friday 2018, not a dime spent…

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One Man's Paradise

Thanksgiving

“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful.

It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

David Steindl-Rast


I am grateful for a handful of friends that reach out to me and stay in touch, including readers of this blog, who give me a sense of belonging and purpose. I am grateful to have spent time in beautiful places and the ability to share moments of solitude, serenity, and happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Note to self

Miracles

“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein


Today, more Noble Prize winners have been announced. Reminded me of Einstein, who was not only good for scientific theories that changed “our” views on matter and time. He also led a wild private life and is a great source for inspirational quotes.

I liken to think of life as a miracle. Sometimes there are rocks in the way. It takes effort to turn those rocks into insignificant pebbles.

I am reentering society, sort of, after being on the road for more than 4 months and living north of the arctic circle, where every day is a miracle. The solitude and remoteness, the weather, the landscape, and the small number of individuals that I encountered in that environment left me no choice, but marvel in the quality of every day. I could stayed up there and maybe I will return some day.

 

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