So, Peeps, who’s checked out all those minimalist travelers out there?
Raise your hand.
No, wait, I can’t see you. Instead of raising your hand, comment. Yeah, that’s the thing to do on a blog. Comment.
I’ve been perusing the blogs of several long-term travelers who promote minimalist travel. Most of these folks advocate bringing no more with you that can fit into a single carry-on bag.
I dig that shit.
I mean, I really dig that shit.
I’m a closet Thoreau myself. Well, out of the closet. Wait. Out of the closet but not currently engaged in the lifestyle. Out of the closet but not currently living an authentic life. Yeah, something like that.
See what I’m saying? Because I’m not sure I do.
Okay. What I mean is, come on, people, we’re human beings! What’s with shacking ourselves to -ism after -ism? What is this, the 20th Cen or something?
When you submit to an -ism often what follows is the subordination of individuality, a reduction of personal potential. Yes, the opposite is often just as true, but GD, we’re not going to talk about that right now. I’m not sure I want to give up my kinky fashion style just so I can call myself a more minimal minimalist. Personally, I don’t want to ditch my Zelda gold crest belt buckle just so I can tell fellow wanderers that my load weighs less than 5kg.
And, just so I’m up front, I don’t know a damned thing about Zelda. I’m a poser. I just like the way that belt buckle looks. Blingity bling bling.
So, in my one carry-on bag I need room for assorted flash and bling.
Zelda Belt buckles.
If that makes my pack a little heavier, then I just have to get bigger back muscles, baby.
During breaks between my globetrotting adventures I make time to visit interesting places in my hometown of Cleveland, OH.
Today’s awesome adventure comes in the form of Nathan Hale Park in Parma, a huge suburb on the south side of Cleveland.
Just a little history. I used to live a few streets over. That’s how I knew about this little gem-like oasis of nature smack in the middle of suburban blight. History lesson finished.
Jesus, what am I thinking? Getting ahead of myself. Before I tell you what happened, I simply must detail out what I brought. You know, my kit. It’s minimal, since I’m a minimal kind of guy. And no travel story is complete without a bit of gear porn.
2) Surly Long Haul Trucker.
3) Nikon DSLR.
4) Two pens, but I forgot a notebook.
5) Smart phone.
That’s it! 🙂 My morning ultra-trekking kit. It’s all I need on a hiking day trip.
Nathan Hale Park is off behind Cuyahoga Community College. Back when I lived in the neighborhood I used to go back there to escape the pressures of normal daily suburban crap.
I’ve been going through a dollop of crap recently. Money problems, relationship problems, personal problems. I was in the troth, those low points between the peaks where you’ve lost the power and authority to call your own shots. All that tsunami of stress built to a storm. I went back to the woods, one of the few places I feel comfortable to contemplate my next move.
When you feel insufficient and incapable or when you’re best isn’t good enough for the people around you, you need a retreat.
I end up in nature.
As I plunged into the forest, well, the undeveloped tract of trees behind CCC, I felt as if I were returning home in some way.
Give praise to the Great Spirit
One with the light
One with the dark
One with the righteous
One with the wrong
One with health
One with disease
One with the dead leaf
One with the living tree
One with the pulsing quivering body
One with the corpse
One with the divine
One with the wretched
One with the infinite
One with the infinitesimal
As I walk, as my eyes fondle the shaft of light touching trees, as I come to stand in the stellar warmth, I am filled with the sense that this is all there is. Just this moment, this forest around me where the squirrels scamper and crickets chirp, and I see the pretenses we live under. The jealous God is a false God. The creator serves the creation until the creation can itself fly. Whose wings are strengthening is the current winds?
I am thankful for this moment. Out of all possible moments this is the moment I’ve been given. Those are some pretty leaves.