Sunday, February 7, 2010



Last week brought about an onslaught of childhood memories. In the midst of the entire story re-telling, I had the recollection of being “one of the guys” as a kid. Most of my neighborhood chums were guys. I preferred doing “guy things” over “girl things”, most of the time.

Several nights later, I found myself hiking one of my favorite trails, enroute to a campsite to join 7 guys who were on their 30th annual winter camping trip. Hiking the trail at night is something I have never done, nor was meeting 7 guys in the middle of a forest for cocktails and conversation.

The temperature was perfect. Low 30’s with snow covering the ground illuminating the trees and path before me. The peaceful sense filling me had me wanting to continue walking beyond the campsite to enjoy the feeling just a little longer.

Upon arriving, I was greeted at the campsite entrance by a Grade School classmate with whom I recently became reacquainted after a 35 year hiatus. Encircling the campfire were his 6 friends who all stood to greet me as I entered.

The genuine sweetness of their greetings dispelled any fragments of apprehension lurking in my mind. As I was welcomed into the circle, the peaceful sense I had felt earlier on the trail had returned. I sank into the purity and simplicity of it all…no judgments…no separation…no walls…no noise; relax…enjoy…be.

I suppose we all had the same intended purpose out there; to step away from our worlds and became one with the present moment. There we all sat around a campfire in the middle of winter, surrounded by darkness and snow; with pureness of heart warming the soul more than the fire or cognac being shared.

What was seen with the eyes was limited by the darkness, what was felt with the heart illuminated the night.