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I didn’t hike today

I chose to meander off-trail, instead.

I wanted to be by myself. For a special reason.

So I just moseyed leisurely along the rounded top of a ridge.

The shade of towering ponderosa pines fell upon a carpeting of fragrant pine needles.

It was glorious. Even sacred.

I made my way out to a knoll at the end, which over-looked a big meadow.


Tessa Running in Meadow at Amole
Tessa loved to romp in “her meadow.” She’d run in wide circles until she got tired, then sniff the rocks in the grass.


I sat down on the knoll

Just me. Memories of Tessa. And a gentle breeze in the pines.

I meditated for a while, then lay out on my back on the pine carpeting, thinking of nothing.


The Knoll at Amole 8-6-16
I could feel Tessa there with me. What bliss!


When I finally opened my mind to thoughts, very little arrived.

What seemed more present than anything was the grand relativity of time.

Here I was seated in the present moment of time – atop, beneath and around the convergence of so many different life spans.


Tess & Toth at Amole
Tessa and her trail buddy, Thoth, rejoice in getting together again on their favorite hiking trail.


The Upanishad of The Moment

The giant life-spanning ponderosas, pinyons and junipers, at this moment in their three hundred-plus year lives, as well as the far longer-living cedars some of which may date back 1700 years to the Asian tribal migration to North America.

And still the same moment of time in the short, four-day lifespan of those troublesome midges.

And me in the middle of it all in my eighty-ninth year.

All of us at rest in perfect peace.

A peace that surpasses our understanding. And is always here.

I could feel it.  Go with it. Remain with it.


And with infinity in the palm of my hand, eternity in the moment. And my dog Tessa there too.

For it is just as it says in the Upanishad.


How can a wise man, knowing the unity of life, seeing all creatures in himself, be deluded or sorrowful?


The Self is everywhere, without a body, without a shape, whole, pure, wise, all knowing, far shining, self- depending, all transcending.

Is i true that we are all one?


I was out here to ask Tessa’s permission to find another hiking companion

‘I don’t want another Tessa,’ I thought.  ‘I want you to be in bliss in your final resting place.

‘You were just too perfect to be re-incarnated.  I have to let you go, dear sweet one.’

We thus communicated with each other.

I to her, ‘I know you can’t speak to me.’

She, ‘But I never could speak, even when I was there in the flesh.’

‘I know, but I knew what you meant with your eyes and the tilt of your head.’


‘I’ve come to let you know I’m ready to move on.’

‘I understand.’

‘So is it okay to find another hiking friend?’

‘Of course. I’ll still be with you.’

‘So good-bye dear sweet lovable pal, Tessa.’


After a respectful time

I ambled back around the rim of her meadow.

Along the way I picked up a capstone for her grave.

It will be the last one.

Tessa's Grave with Capstone
I’ve put 150 stones on her grave, one for every hike I’ve taken since she died.


‘The tears I shed in my meandering today and in writing this post will not be the last, though they’ll be sweeter knowing I’ll be over there with you soon.


‘Sweet dreams.’

2 Responses

  1. Heidi
    | Reply

    Bill… Such a beautiful reflection…. Thanks, Heidi

    • BackpackerBill
      | Reply

      Thank you, Heidi. I hesitated posting it. It was so personal and emotional.

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