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[NATURE] - A Life Changing Experience (complete)

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posted on Jun, 16 2012 @ 08:54 PM
Some say there are moments in life where everything beforehand was just another step on the path to a specific destination, a singular spot in time where meaning is heavy and life changes in a single breath. Usually reserved for fairy tales or legend are these moments, real in inspiration however lacking in reality. But when the unusual becomes real, becomes here and now, this leaves no choice but to accept what was once inconceivable. This is the experience I am about to share with you, a moment in time that have the trappings of destiny, the grandeur of a fairy tale, and the inspiration to change a life. Nature at its finest tipping its hand for a single moment in time...

Growing up in the outskirts of Albany New York has its advantages, your far enough away from the bustle of city life yet close enough to everything when in need. With locations such as the Adirondacks a short drive away, finding nature was far from impossible although in my specific case it was comparably as far from a lifestyle. Sure, as a kid I ventured in to local forever green areas to play or build some rudimentary fort for kicks but never did I ever really learn to appreciate nature. It was simply just another facet of life far removed from my lifestyle and this in fact remained the case in to my early adult hood. I'd like to say that I always had some sort of underlying burning desire to embrace nature and explore the beauty it has to offer yet that would be a lie. Like domestic fish caged in a glass house, I took a gander every once in a while and to that end was the extent of my interest.

By the time I was 21 I found myself going nowhere fast and with the support of a good childhood friend we both joined the military. Oddly enough I never once looked back, I made the decision on a dime and remained still in the current of life and just went with the flow. That is until the second I stepped off the bus where I, along with a dozen other pursuers of change, were introduced to our new life. We all tried to make sense of the moment as we frantically managed to come to attention on a imaginary line drawn on the hard concrete. Standing before us was a hardened drill instructor who spoke with harsh and specific authority. His tone was one of loud demand, and every motion he took was equally as firm of conviction. With sunken eyes that were blackened and a overall look of confidence, dominance, and surreal seriousness, he marched us off to the processing station. Looking back, it took all of two seconds after the last step off that bus to know I had made a horrible mistake and the void of any ideas for my future that had plagued me for years suddenly over ran with inspiration, if only I was NOT here..

With a loud and ominous metal “Bang! Bang! Bang!” in rapid succession, this is how we started the day for the next several months, mind you at 4:00AM. And with regards to nature I could not have been further removed. We slept in a concrete 'birthing' with metal cubical storage units and a steel bed. We marched endlessly day and night on a concrete 'grinder' with only a hint of trees off in the distance and the occasional strip of manicured grass oddly placed here and there. We were 100 strong with only inches between us yet isolated and alone, void of the ability to feel, think, or even communicate without occasion. It was a time of great depravity and to this day am still grateful for the experience. You see, it was the total deprivation of almost everything that made everything to come possible.

Soon after boot camp I was transferred to an 'A School', a specialized school for specific and/or unique job training(s). More specifically, I found myself in the quaint town of Millington Tennessee. This place was like Gods country to me, the trees were widespread and lavish, the stars were unbelievably big and bright. It was a place where nature was abundant and everywhere demanding attention, soliciting respect with every eye full. But what made this experience even more wonderful was that after being deprived of almost everything worldly for months just prior, all my senses were on high alert and being overwhelmed! The smell of a soft breeze was intoxicating, the sight of a nights sky full and bright with all the wonders of the universe suddenly had meaning, the ability to take a moment of thought just for me was once again new.

About a week after getting settled I found myself with an entire afternoon free. I had not had more than 5 minutes of such liberties over the past months so my mind was full with opportunity and direction. Of these ideas I eventually settled on simply taking a walk, it had been far too long since I did nothing but think on my own accord and to do so while taking in the spectacular views of nature seemed appealing so off I went. It was the first time in a while I was able to really take a good look at myself and was really amazed at just how far removed I was from where I had left. I was brimming with confidence and all but ready to take on the world, standing firmly on my own 2 feet. I almost felt whole, complete, and the world had wonder once more as my new found appreciation for all things filled my senses. And it was at this moment it became clear that the total deprivation of boot camp had worth.

As I walked along the old narrow road(s) that carved through the thick forest flat lands of Tennessee I could not help but revel in the sound of fluttering leaves as they gently fell to the ground echoing in the silence. The richness of color and depth redefined what I knew to be possible and although totally surrounded by this imposing landscape of fortified nature, I felt at peace. Minutes turned in to hours and I just kept going, heading nowhere I was being drawn along like a ripen dandelion seeding in a falls gentle breeze.

edit on 16-6-2012 by HomeBrew because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2012 @ 08:56 PM

I soon found myself engulfed on a magical path, one covered with a canopy of late September colored leaves stemming from ancient branches reaching out for each other from either side of the road. The hazy sunlight was dancing through the cracks above casting a flickering glow of shade in the tunnel below as I made my way through. Pausing for just a moment to let the vision set in, the symphony of dancing color, the sound of nowhere nature, and the surreal feeling of near perfection lost on a dormant lone road to nowhere was innocent. Engulfed in a world of glorious beauty I continued on embracing the tickle of my senses with each passing second, taking a periodic time out to appreciate each moment.

The setting sun was now low in the sky but I did not yield, I could not turn back. Never before had I found myself so inspired and amused by nature, by myself. With each new turn I came across a relative insignificant parcel of land or a remote stretch of a backwater road that rivaled in innocence and grandeur what came before it. So I continued on as if searching for an end and to my ultimate surprise what I wound up finding was a new beginning.

Eventually the road came to an end but not before it opened up to a small inconspicuous clearing. I'd like to tell you that it was an adventurous spirit that drew me in but it was the fear of not knowing and the wonder of the moment that led me in to the brush. I fumbled through what was perhaps a hundred yards of thickening woods before I found myself standing on the edge of a natural white rock and crystalline quartz beach of sorts, and beyond that the great Mississippi flowed with might and grace. On the other side of the river was a split valley and the setting sun was coming to rest right in the center of the concave split. With only minutes before the sun touched down on the horizon I looked on in amazement.

As the setting sun touched the horizon it perfectly fit the split in the valley out yonder and I wondered what the odds were that on this day, this very moment, I would find myself at this exact spot to witness such a thing. And just as I began to contemplate the unlikely the most incredible thing happened! As if someone hit an imaginary switch a golden purple haze engulfed the horizon and spewed from the setting sun. What seemed like slow motion, this thick golden purple haze danced through the valley and skimmed over the glass like murky waters of the ole Miss, causing the otherwise dark waters to come alive with amber radiance.

Trapped in marvel at the glowing golden purple twinkle of the river, the majestic shine reached the crystalline quartz white rock beach that stood before me and like a million tiny disco balls the golden purple light sparkled and bounced in waves of shimmer to and fro. Taken back I took a moment to be sure to breath as the scene unfolding before me was doing its best to take it away. The golden purple haze of the setting sun splitting the valley as if in a predetermined nest, the golden glassy shimmer of the Mississippi, the dancing purple sparkle of the beach under foot, all firing off at once like a grand finale of a fireworks display and I was the only one to see.

The sun quickly set and the thick haze came to an end. The glow of the golden valley returned to a dull green, the river turned murky dark once more but incredibly the golden purple haze remained trapped in the white quartz rock beach and proceeded to illuminate, sparkle, and dance in the dark for perhaps moments but what seemed like an eternity. I stood silent like a child who was witnessing something he knew he should not yet I could not afford the time to think, all I could do is stare, feel, in wonder and awe. The thick forest dark was held back by an aura of dancing color, alive and with dance like a drunkard 5 minutes after last call refusing to leave.

Eventually the lights were out and I made the long dark trek back to the base, pondering what had happened. I was exhausted of sensory overload. Could nature really be so breath-taking(ly) beautiful? Could nature really hold such splendors for anyone to stumble across by chance? But most of all, why was I chosen after living a life one might consider outside of nature, to get a glimpse of her most incredible desire to speak out? I had not warranted such a blessing and it changed me forever. I imagined how every single choice or random force that has played out throughout all of prior time had to have went off exactly so for this magical moment to happen, for me to find myself in exactly the right spot at exactly the right time.

As the years wore by I wanted to try and artistically recreate this image but simple colors, paper, and interpretation would never do it justice. I've wanted to tell the tale time and time again yet know full well that human expression falls woefully short. Even as I type this, the realization that it will never truly convey the honest expression of nature given to me on that fateful day is resolute. In the end I believe it was meant just for me and the image of natures apocalypse I hold dear in my heart and mind will have to remain so, at least in whole. Why I decided to give nature a ounce of attention that day was compelling, the fact nature gave me back a pound of wonder has guided me through my life for the last 20 years.
edit on 16-6-2012 by HomeBrew because: (no reason given)

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