I got very buzzed in Algonquin Park one night last summer. This had nothing to do with alcohol – or any other artificial “intoxicating substance.” There was an intoxicating substance, though, & the only way to describe it is … Nature. Or … hmmm. A sort of powerful sensation of mystical connection with … the great outdoors/everything.
I was out in the park with friends, on our annual August camping trip. (The photo at the top of the blog is of a rock across the lake from where we usually camp.) It was our 4th night out & two of us were just sitting around. We’d eaten & cleaned up after our meal. Just sittin’. Being pretty quiet.
The sky was clear, the moon almost full.
It was quiet around us – probably the only sounds we could hear were water lapping & maybe the occasional splash of a beaver. We were on an island, surrounded by water, & lots & lots of trees. An incredible sense of space, & spaciousness.
I can’t really explain what the feeling was like, exactly. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt it before – or if I have, never so intensely. It was as if my body was just kind of humming with exhilaration – a natural sense of joy, & intense ... be-ing. (Although these are just words, & quite wholly inadequate to describe how I felt.)
The exhilaration of being outside & fully a part of it all – not separate.
It was like being blissed out. Only it wasn’t like being blissed out; I was blissed out.
It was extraordinary.
You can’t order up that kind of experience. It just happens.
(Or, mostly, doesn’t happen.)
I am very-very grateful for the experience, & for the annual trip with these awesome friends. :)
& also grateful for being reminded of this special experience last week. I was at a Jon Young event hosted by the P.I.N.E. Project in Toronto. Extraordinary man! Extraordinary event! So thankful that friends KL & AB caused me to be there, all of it pretty “flukey” & unexpected.
Down below are a few photos of scenes from around the lake. There is no having a “bad” time there, it seems.
What an extraordinarily beautiful planet we have been gifted with!?
p.s. I keep re-wording my description of how I felt. I can't seem to get it quite right. It was intoxicating, that much I do have right!
p.p.s. a couple weeks later: here's what it was like: like the Earth's heart was beating, & I was pulsing right along with it. I was its heartbeat... or the Earth was breathing me ... & I could feel it. I was it.
p.p.p.s. which reminds me of this Joseph Campbell gem: “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell
& also this one: “The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you are.” – Joseph Campbell
p.s. # 4: all my canoe trip-related postings on this blog now gathered up here, under one heading.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell, US folklorist & expert on mythology (1904 – 1987) [more JC quotes]
[If you click on the images, they get bigger.]