Being Fully Alive

To be fully alive requires that I experience and interact with the world around me in real time. In other words, I need to show up and be present in the here and now of each moment. On the morning of June 2, 2022 I had the opportunity to practice that life skill. I was camping (with my partner and 3 of our grandkids) at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, which is a stunningly beautiful place. I woke up early (because that’s just what my body does) and quietly slipped out into early morning pre-dawn light. I walked past a fog-shrouded meadow full of elk, feeling a thrill deep down in my soul as I listened to them bugling. And then I headed up the two and a half mile trail to Cub Lake. I was by myself on the trail (except for the assorted wildlife I encountered along the way). About an hour later I arrived at the lake, which is covered in floating lily pads, the still water reflecting the snow-capped peaks beyond. I put down my pack, set up my phone/camera, pulled out my Native American style branch flute (thank you Geri Littlejohn for creating this lovely gem), pushed the record button, and started to play. I don’t actually know any songs. The reason I love playing the flute is because it allows me to improvise and play in the moment. On this morning I was playing to the beauty and the stillness which surrounded me. A bit more than a minute into the song I was preparing to bring it to a close, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a duck which was about to swim into the shot, so I kept playing, because that’s what you do when you are interacting with the world in real time. The song isn’t perfect because I’m not perfect. But it was an expression of my awe and wonder in that particular moment. And I am grateful for the gift of that experience.

Native American style branch flute
created by Geri Littlejohn

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