September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Entering the depths of a forest, we feel a shift in the mood of the land; the sound of the wind, of the stillness, of our own footsteps comes to us in a new language.  Perhaps a display of beauty unfolds before us – snow falling like jewels through dawn light.  Perhaps an owl hoots or a hermit thrush pipes its lament in a way that opens us to the uncommon, so that something in us releases.” – William deBuys, “The Walk”.

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Clark Fork River Dan Routh Photography

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“It was a though we’d been living for a year in a dense grove of old trees, a cluster of firs, each with its own rhythm and character, from whom our bodies had drawn not just shelter but perhaps even a kind of guidance as we grew into a family. – David Abram

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Land near Big Sky

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“To stop and consciously open one’s senses in the course of a walk is to pose a kind of question, which may or may not receive an answer.  And when a answer appears, whether manifesting in the landscape or welling up from within, it may be so partial or inscrutable that it may seem to count for nothing.  The solidity of the answer, however, is not the point.  The point lies in making oneself available to the numinous, opening to see what comes.  One time in twenty, or a hundred, or a thousand, something does.  Every walk and every landscape carries the potential for unexpected revelation, and so siste viator, one stops, looks, and listens.  And what comes, comes.” – William debuys

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Flathead Valley MT

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“Suddenly we are immersed in an ecology of compassion.  The wide and open heart gives more love: the blemished, imperfect thing needs more love.  One thing gives; the other receives; both benefit.  Such is the species of justice that can arise in the overgrown forest, as it can arise elsewhere.  The forest through which we walk has been afflicted by time.  It bears the scars of history and the wounds of fresh injury…….The music of nature is not less musical when it comes from a place of hardship. In this forest nature sings the blues, rich with imperfection, can touch a soul as deeply as the music of the spheres.” – William deBuys

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Kalispell MT

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“We never know the journey another person has walked, so be kind to everyone.” – Lynette Mather

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Helena Flats road land

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“When we lose these woods, we lose our soul. Not simply as individuals, but as a people.”  – Kevin Walker

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Preserve near Kalispell MT

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“The pace of choice for venturing into the woods, according to the most celebrated of American walkers, is the saunter.  Henry David Thoreau boasted that he sauntered daily and for hours through the Concord woods, and he relished the derivation of the word.  It originated, he said, nearly a thousand years ago, in the time of the Crusades, when Europe swarmed with pilgrims bound for the Holy Land, “a la Sainte Terre”. …..Indeed, not every pilgrim was a pilgrim, for many used the spirit of their time as a cover for self-indulgent travel, unstructured rambling and directionless exploring.  Respectable people disparaged these half-hearted pilgrims as Sante-Terrers – saunterers.  Such was the judgement of purposeful burghers, but not Henry David Thoreau.

On no class of human beings does he lavish higher praise than on the saunterers of Europe as it awakened from the Dark Ages.  In the freedom with which they wandered and in their presumed openness to exploration and discovery, Thoreau found both metaphor and precedent for the way he wishes to live.” – William deBuys, “The Walk”.

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Land near Kalispell MT

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“To saunter is to exercise the first of all freedoms, which is mobility, and to do so well one must go out with a mind as unfettered as the body.  One goes forth limber in every aspect, legs swinging easily, arms loose and free.  One’s eyes are alive to color, pattern and movement, one’s ears alert to bird call and wind song.  The  nose and tongue are gladdened by the taste of the day, and the chest fills not just with good rich air but also with exaltation, or at least with a sense of its possibility.  The world seems open and generous, and the mind enters it, wandering as freely as the feet.  Often a kind of marvelous mystery then unfolds, which no one can explain.  It is the mystery of how walking lubricates the connections of thought, loosens the bonds on the subconscious, and allows unknown the unexpected ideas and feelings to surface – often the very idea or feeling or insight we have been seeking for weeks.  It is the mystery of how walking helps the mind go out and the world come in, and brings us to our senses.” – William deBuys

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