Wow, what a month, and what a year. I have been thinking a lot about duality this month. It’s a concept in the spiritual teachings I read about and in yoga classes with my sister as well. This Earth planet will always have duality. Love and hate. Light and dark. Bad and good. Fire and rain. Up and down. Forward and backward. Life and death. How do we navigate such a dual reality? I believe we try to find the balance between, those edges, the gray area. For example, with love and hate, how about compassion, empathy, or open-mindedness? If we keep the us vs them mentality, I think it is for sure the fall of the United States, but then again, we can rise again. Look at history and see the rise and fall of civilizations time and time again. Of course, being in the middle of this we don’t wish it to happen. I truly believe it starts with each individual- we take responsibility for our actions and choices, and follow the steps we can do to help collectively. Do you have passion for a cause or loved ones? That motivation can help you move forward. I am not sure what will happen in the United States with Covid still on the rise and the division exacerbated by a heated political election year. But can we find those balanced in between spots between this and that?
Nature helps me to balance and also taking a much needed social media break. When we had the terrible wildfires east of us and all over California and Washington state as well, Ian and I debated about keeping our cabin reservation in a state park. Ian had made the reservations months ago and we waited to see if we were to be evacuated or if the reservations would be canceled. We luckily were okay and no cancellations, so onward we drove to Cottonwood Canyon State Park. It is the second largest state park in Oregon and such a different landscape than Portland and the Willamette Valley. It had canyons, desert, sagebrush, and was so quiet. The wildfire smoke made it look almost end of worldly, but mystical as well. We were one of the few people there and had to wear two masks each at times because the air quality was terrible. But being in a cabin with AC in the middle of everything going on was comforting and we felt safe being in nature. And could rejoice with the little things like frogs hopping in moss in the John Day River, seeing deer climbing the canyons, and this desolate landscape that reminded me of an ancient time. I loved reading the cabin guest book to see other travelers’ journeys and the peace and joy they found at Cottonwood Canyon. We had brought our own food, played games, hiked, and was startled by a lot of spider friends in our cabin but we were safe and grateful.
The next day we explored the ancient Painted Hills- they are sandy like dunes but are actually fossilized ancient forests of a different time with diverse climates and habitats. It was beautiful and reminded me how things do change. We didn’t just get away to escape the fires, but in these moments of reflection in nature, we could truly think of people directly affected by them, who did lose their homes and lives, not just now but all of those million years ago. The trees and critters who lived and disappeared. We recognize and remember. We love and cherish. We respect and learn. I hope we can learn from our past history of pandemics, climate change, and civilizations. We are here on this dual planet to learn so that is our purpose. We may trip and fall, but then we do rise again in some form or another; it could be an ancient dune to remind another of a past time and place.
Much love in these times,
Anna and ps here are some pics