A walking meditation in the San Juans

Memorial Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest did not get off to a very good start. It was raining buckets on Friday, and then it dumped even more on Saturday. Rain rain rain.

My friend Maria and I were headed to the San Juans for a weekend camping trip. Maria, being a scientist, explained the rain shadow effect, which I'm incapable of repeating because I'm a writer and my brain is a sieve when it comes to science. Essentially, she said it was much less likely to be raining there than in the city, which was all I needed to know.

Except it was still drizzling when we got to the Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island. We considered upgrading to a canvas tent to try to keep ourselves from freezing. I regularly vote to bail on backpacking in favor of camping, but full-on glamping in a fancy canvas tent was another, expensive story, so we stuck with our original plan. Camping at Lakedale is still pretty swank. A sink to wash our dishes in? Yes, please.

We needed it to clean up from our dinner: burgers, asparagus and whisky.

We both wished we had thought to get a clam-digging permit. Look at this cute cockle Maria dug up on the beach. Mm, tasty. Next time.

Moving on. On the first day, Maria and I went for a long walk at "American Camp." The camp is located on the southeast corner of the island, and if there ever was a place that looked straight out of "Wuthering Heights," these wind-swept cliffs were it.

We saw a lot of foxes that were not scared of us. We don't know why.

Wandering the windy bluffs also took me back to meditation. My meditation practice has dwindled to practically nothing, though I think about it frequently. But this remote, windy field looked like the perfect place for a walking meditation. The wind roared past, hawks glided overhead and the ocean crashed into the coves below. The sounds were incredibly rich. It seemed such a shame to waste it by living in the past and present drama of life. Although it's almost addicting to let go of meditation and not try to keep the brain in check. It's so much easier to just get lost in the mind's constant murmurings that are always either hung up on the past or hung up on the future. All those thoughts seem quite reasonable when there is nothing to say stop. But I know I don't want to live that way, which is why I am going back to meditation class next week. And on Saturday, for a few steps at a time, I absorbed the beauty of those fields, the beach and the wet grass and, especially, the sound of the wind for a brief moving meditation.


lookrichbitch said...

"glamping"??? hahahaha.. for me, camping is staying in a motel.

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Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr