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The Cowboy Camp

Russian and Chinese craftsmen produce little sets of hollow, wooden boxes or dolls that when opened up contain a smaller replica inside … and then, when opened up again has an even smaller replica. Children love these toys. In a child’s mind, the mystery of “within the within” speaks to a curiosity that knows no bounds.

Walking with my 2-year old granddaughter this summer, we saw a large ant colony. It was the very small variety of ant that tunnels under pavement cracks or rocks. Liliana, with her acute eyesight, was fascinated by the intricacy of their busy workings. We watched as their activity ranged many yards from the colony into the grass and driveway beyond.

On the earth, there are worlds within worlds.

When we slow down to look around us, we are impressed by the integral complexity. We are alive inside of this matrix of natural form. Our individual lives are but one tiny piece of a greater whole. Nearly seven billion souls travel the surface of this planet, ranging far and wide on our daily paths.

The physical body of each person is comprised of billions of cells and millions of microorganisms playing out his/her life in any given moment at any given place on the planet.

On the atomic and sub atomic level, energy is the name of the game. Countless biological activities are supported by countless energetic exchanges. What we know of as “our body” is an envelope containing – in every fraction of a second – the nuclear explosion of life, a billion solar flares of pulsing expression signaling,“I’m alive!”

Outside the physical body are the “subtle” bodies, expressed in radiating colorful layers.

Our light bodies stretch outward to connect us to the vibrant live matrix of the world around us. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual health determine the qualities – the colors – of our energetic expression. We are bursting at the seams with our own signal strength telling the world around us whether we are fearful or joyous, happy or sad, open for business or not available.

In many ways the signaling is a direct link to our environment, pulsing and receiving a huge measure of information in every moment. And because the signature vibration of each human being is quite close in frequency, what you are sending out as an individual message is felt by the human race! Get your mind around that! Think “tuning forks” vibrating in unison.

The buildings we live in form another “skin” in which we cloak ourselves. This is the layer we call “home.”

The joy and challenge of traveling are the unexpected “finds” of the journey. On a trip this summer, Anne, Zoe, Lili and I left Tahoe after breakfast and a relaxing swim. We headed over the California Sierras to drive along its eastern side … over two passes through the mountains and over saddles between the higher summits.

As we looked to the south and west from up on Monitor Pass, the high Sierra peaks reaching south towards Mt. Whitney were jaw-droppingly beautiful. To the north and west a piece of Lake Tahoe could be seen.

Zoe and I hoped that by taking a dirt road at the top of Monitor we might get to an even higher all-encompassing view. The car we’d rented was a soft SUV – more suited to asphalt that to two rutted paths – but the road was dry and by being careful we might just find that view. Well, not all plans work out as expected and this old cattle road got progressively worse the farther we got from the black top.

We finally turned around, heading back to the main road. Still not satisfied … working it just a bit longer … I spied another track leading to higher ground. “Give me a minute to check this out…” Following my gut, I got out of the car and sprinted up the trail to the top. Upon reaching the end of the path, the view was splendid! Ever more mountains and valleys extending off into the mid-afternoon light. Then to my surprise, just a short distance away in a copse of stunted mountain oak, someone had built an exquisite campsite …

The Cowboy Camp

Surrounding the campsite was a finely formed wall, which offered protection from the whipping wind. Within the defined area lay a stout cooking area with a large flat rock for food prep and a fireplace to give warmth on a star-filled night. Anne, Zoe, and Liliana joined me and we snapped some photos.

At one point I put my daypack down by the fire pit and noticed a piece of lanyard connected to a glass container. Picking it up I saw pieces of paper inside. We opened it to find a message: “I built this camp 30 years ago and just returned to it now (2011). If you happen to find this note maybe you could get in touch and let me know what you think!” It was signed “Dave V”.

Deep inside (isn’t everything yet deeper?)
lies the homing or nesting instinct.
As animals we need a place to come home to.

Dave V. had built a little home high on a California mountain pass. I could easily imagine spending a peaceful night or two leaning against his stones, ramen water prepping on mesquite coals. Oh well.

Home on the range

We envelope ourselves in a layer of energetic fabric we call “home.”

We place within this environment the implements of comfort, protection, love, and sustenance. We imbue the items with our signature energy encoding. These things belong to us and show the symbolic messages of our lives. Our homes are private bastions holding what supports us, hopefully releasing all that does not.

Years ago I saw very interesting pictograph, a Time/Life publication, which contained photos of hundreds of families from all over the world. Each picture was a view of the nuclear family and all their possessions. On one end of the spectrum was a Masai tribesman in front of his wattle and daub Serengeti hut, with his spear and single cow, some cookware at the fire pit, his mother, wife, children, their gourds and weaving. At the other end an American family from Texas, standing in the middle of a football stadium, the possessions strewn end to end: cars, truck, boat, camper, TVs, appliances, bikes, toys, etc. There is nothing abnormal in either case; this just reflects various cultural contexts of home at a certain place and time in history.

Remodeling releases old energy.

Just as your body needs to release and not store the toxic by-products of digestion and respiration, our homes need to release the excess physical and emotional baggage of our lives.

During the process of remodeling a home, we often find pockets of decay in the areas opened for change; mold, insect and animal nesting, rotted framing, are exposed to the air and light – making the new environment more suitable for human habitation. Purging the excess baggage in the areas to be altered (the “stuff” we have not dealt with) releases stored emotional energy. The house breathes a sigh of relief. Held memories, both joyous and painful, begin to move outward as well. This is a bio-energetic process in the true sense of the word. The envelope holding the energy is unburdened by the release of all that clutter; it is renewed by the fresh air and chi now circulating – beginning a profound healing process.

Dave V. got it right 30 years ago when he built his camp. We could still feel it on that windy day in the high Sierras …

Home is simply the moment we are relaxed and secure,
time progressing slowly, a cup of tea in hand,
a copse of pin oaks sheltering us from the sun,
and the stars in the heavens to come.

A shady place to rest.