“Don’t be afraid of being different. Be afraid of being the same as everyone else.”
I awoke beneath coastal redwoods. Immediately the road tugged at me. These trees of palpable spirit couldn’t keep me; cold, wet, and dark it is below these soulful giants. It’s too dank for hanging out, time to move on. Departing camp before breakfast fit my routine though. On a three-week road trip one is bound to develop habits and I’d grown the ritual of brewing coffee at a scenic spot with solitude once on the road.
On this day, I pulled over at the first view of the Eel River. The sun was over the horizon but not much above the redwood flocked hillsides of Humboldt County. Coffee fixed, I walked to the edge of the forest to a patch of sun. Overlooking the river, this spot would give me prime viewing for the golden morning moment of sun striking the river.
Into a patch of undergrowth grass and forbs I plopped. The first sip of coffee created a little paradise in my mouth. My view competed closely as the best of joys in that moment. Sun rays were reaching the riverbanks tinting the lit world soft and warm colors. This light so good it’s as if accompanied by a smell or taste. The depth of color and sensation so complete it’s hard to establish whether just one sense, sight, creates it.
I work halfway through my java and a salmon splashing in the river pulls me down to the rocky beach. I never spy the salmon in the water but I find treasures and talk with a willow about going with the flow. Great chat by the way.
Moments like these endorse my knowledge that I am not alone. Traveling solo, yes. Alone, no, definitely not; no loneliness, no yearning, just being. A moment of wholeness.
In that complete presence of moment, there’s a clarity of knowing who you are with great acceptance. Partially, there’s no one here to suggest I’m someone other than who I think I am. Yet, it’s more than that.
Perhaps it’s the uniqueness of the moment. No one else is here to see it; I fully define the moment. My eyes take in the light. My brain processes the data; my soul interprets it. The moment is mine and mine alone. I control my response to it and, in turn, it shapes me.
Stripped of pretext, masquerade mask discarded, motives pure, I’m molded to into being more me than me for an instant. Perhaps that’s more than enough for a lifetime, if not it will do for a morning.