I am continuing to focus on the purpose and focus of this blog, not so much so that I can find one but so that I can articulate what is already in my head. In any dream there is a lot of “fluff”. Or, perhaps, not fluff so much as bits and pieces that really belong in other dreams because, while these bits and pieces may be interesting, they have the potential to scatter energy from a main idea like dust motes scatter light.

As I was drifting off to sleep the other night I had a very clear list of focus topics for this blog form in my head. For example, the importance of being able to read and the tools for teaching that, the importance of maintaining balance between head logic and heart (emotion), the pleasure of maintaining a sense of wonder, and tools and techniques for learning about nature were topics that came to mind. That night, however, they had clear, one-word titles that would fit easily on the tabs of a blog page. I didn’t write these words down, I didn’t want to risk not getting to sleep, so now I can’t remember what these words are. “They” say that you should always write these kinds of thoughts down because otherwise the thoughts can slip away. “They” have a point but thoughts can come back or things could shift in other beneficial directions if you are willing to be flexible. I have never been one to forgo sleep to capture thoughts in that way. I believe in rest, which is one of the things I find in natural places, but that is a thought for another post.

Others, driven more by action than stillness would have taken a different course. And that, perhaps, is the key: The differences of approach and the results you get from each. Some people, when they go out into nature, have a focus for the trip. For example, having lived in both New Hampshire and Colorado at different times, I have known people who collected peaks. When they went to the mountains they were there for the purpose of getting to the top and getting home. They took in beauty as they went but that was not the purpose, it was only a minor side benefit, and not much was lost if they didn’t have time to take that beauty in. I also know people who, when they go into nature are more like a wild thing. If you were to trace their paths you’d find that they wandered all over the place, looping and zigzagging around, taking in as much as possible in their wanderings. If these people make it to the top of the peak it may be an accident and it may well not be a single day trip. Their purpose is to be in the place, enjoy the place and collect (if they collect anything at all) that wonder of being. I fall into the second group. I did try to go peak bagging with some of my hiker friends in the past but the pace was too fast and I felt that I was missing most of the good bits on the way up. The magnificent view at the top did not offset the loss of the many small things missed on the way there. In contrast, I once went on a backpacking trip with friends where we got a bit of a late start and were still on the trail in the dark. We came out of the woods to the edge of a lake that had a 3 to 4 foot rocky ledge near where we came out. The sky was a midnight blue velvet pricked with tiny diamonds of stars (no-one told that sky to avoid being clichĂ©). There was no light pollution from the moon or the cities to disrupt that view. The water in the lake was so still that looking at the reflected night sky gave me the feeling of looking through a hole to the night on the other side of the earth. In my memory we stopped there and let that gift be given instead of pressing on to where we planned to be for the night.

So! Purpose. I do have a planned direction I intend to take, like the group of back packers I was with that night, but if the trip is sidetracked by something like the “hole in the earth lake” I’ll stop there or go there. That is part of the purpose.