I travel forty minutes by car to the area of woods where I plan to hike. I drive up to a hill and park next to a couple that is taking their dogs for a walk. The hill that I am climbing is an old overgrown garbage dump. I open my door and step outside to a green grassy world. I take the dogs out of the trunk. The sun is shining overhead surrounded by a bright clear Dutch blue sky. I instantly feel more at peace. I head to the opening in the woods, and begin looking around, noticing the beauty of nature which is awaking slowly from the winter sleep. I breathe in the clean air deeply, wanting to take it all in.
The head of the trail is lined with flowers; yellow daffodils, and crocuses in purple, and white. The trees are of all sizes, and as I walk further down the path, the trees start getting bigger, taller, wider. When I walked here last summer it was becoming darker here. When I begin walking deeper into the woods, I’ll see just a few streams of light shining through the tree tops which are getting green. The wind is gently blowing, creating shadows of the tree tops and leaves as they dance on the rhythm of spring.
I continue walking further and deeper into the woods and up the hill we go. I notice a large dark grey concrete kind of staircase up ahead. As I get closer I see a rich green moss covering one side, a man made waterfall is near, I can hear the water trickling over the small steps. I keep walking, and with just a few steps I can see the water from the spring as it moves across my path. I step over it’s only a few steps wide but the stepping stones are wet, and I look at the beauty of nature as our dogs are running around like nuts.
The path begins to climb in elevation… My sense of peace deepens as I continue going to the top into an open field. I keep walking. I keep climbing in elevation. The path curves to the left and then back to the right. I keep moving forward, in my own speed I’ll find my way up the hill. I love that it’s a total different level and again beautiful and it’s sunny up here. I walk closer to the edge of the other side. Here I’m looking at the city in the distance. I look down below on the other side and see a canal gracefully winding through the base of the landscape, and when I look up to the sky, overwhelmingly, I feel a grateful energy called live. I breathe it all in.
On the next few months I will be coming back to this hill as often as I can to cultivate the peace within me. It was shortly after I began driving busses that our life began to change in a big way. My wife was loosing everything that she had, but I didn’t know it yet that her brain snapped and she stopped functioning as a wife and mother and slowly she was falling to bits and peace’s.
I had to go on unemployment benefits due to Dutch regulations I had to be laid off for half a year, it was not really working in our favor. I dove deeper into myself practicing Tai Chi again using channels like You tube and remembering it from my past, and surprisingly I found even deeper moments of peace. Once I realized how simple it actually all really is, it made me a little angry at myself for all the years I wasted living an incomplete life.
When you find something that gives you that gift, after all of the years of searching for a better you and your only suffering, you want to share it out to the world. You want everyone to feel the peace within. I’ve been looking for ways to share it with others ever since. Because once you find something so good, so wonderful, you feel as if you have to share it out to the world. Unfortunately not everyone understands what you are telling them.
As I continued my journey in life, I began noticing more, and having more awareness of habits and patterns. For instance, I would of never been able to have this realization and be on the path to living my life, if I didn’t lose everything I loved. If you lost people that you have loved with every inch of your being, Yes I know it sounds a little airy-fairy or even a bit insane.
Anyway time continued on, I took a lot more training to keep contact with myself and the world around me, taught a lot more things to our dogs. Sharing the peace that i found within. Creating the habit of practicing at the beginning of the day and hoping for a sensational sunrise. Since I had to spend my time during the morning I started taking long walks, I decided to go hiking towards the sunrise every Thursday morning to stay in balance and practice. And it is so beautiful and also inspiring that I again felt like I needed to share this. Somehow I feel better than ever before.
The Old Sailor,