The Meaning Is What You Make It : Jogging With The Trees

I just got back from my morning jog, did a lil' barefoot yoga in the front yard & then made a bee line for my computer.

I've noticed that if I don't strike when the iron of epiphany is hot, it will eventually cool & my motivation to write it down will be replaced by, well... most likely another epiphany!

I'm a real seeker, always reading, studying human nature, others & my own, contemplating plants, animals, the solar system and that age old question, "What is the meaning of life?"

Thus, the constant stream of epiphanies. I live for the Aha Moment & I love a good mystery!

So, this morning, on my jog, I was thinking about how today is the longest day of the year & how mythologically it is said to be a time when the "Holly King" defeats the "Oak King", symbolizing the end of the Oak King's (& thus the sun's) reign, as the days will now grow shorter until it is the Oak King doing the defeating six months from now.

That is when I noticed that the street I was jogging on was called "Oakridge" and that I was indeed surrounded by old, majestic-looking oaks.

My neighborhood is not the most beautiful place in the world. It's a suburb of Los Angeles & I can see downtown from my front yard. But- despite the smog & chemtrails, despite the asphalt & cars, the electrical wiring, noise pollution & neat little houses in sanctioned rows, the oak trees persist. In fact, they've been here longer, some as far back as 300 years.

Some of them look like they burst through the sidewalks, as the cement is cracked & raised around the base of their trunks. Others reach across the street to the trees on the other side, creating a canopy for traffic to pass under. They look like they're holding hands.

I was feeling so moved by the trees, thinking about how they graciously & often thanklessly provide us with shade, fresh air &, of course, their woodsy beauty, when I spied the daddy of them all, a massive, hulking old guy, looming a block ahead.

I decided that I would challenge myself by sprinting as fast as my legs would carry me for that entire stretch & then reward myself by stopping to place my hands on that great-looking tree.

A burst of fresh energy flashed through my body & mind as I ran, laughing at the silly game I was playing with myself, but when I made it to the tree, I did not feel silly at all. I felt exhilerated & deeply grateful for this life.

I placed my hands on it's trunk & closed my eyes to say a prayer, thanking the tree for the inspiration, my legs for taking me there, the sun for shining down on my back & the whole blessed Universe for existing. I was really feeling spiritual & like a good little hippie, when I felt a sharp prick on the back of my hand.

Something bit me! It was an ant. And, on closer inspection, the entire trunk of this particular tree was swarming in them. So were my hands. I manically swatted them off & felt the reverence of the moment devolve into a clownish display.

So much for grooving on nature!

As I got back to the business of jogging & was making my way back home, I noticed that the bite Mr. Ant had given me was starting to itch. I raised my hand to inspect the bump & that's when I realized that the scent of oak had been transferred to my hands... I smelled like an oak tree & super delicious!

I decided that, rather than seeing this experience as a lesson to keep my hands off the trees (NEVER!)... I would cherish my ant bite as a reminder to breathe & remember the beauty of nature.

So, this afternoon, every time I feel the urge to scratch, I will put my hands to my face & breathe deeply... a lil' Spiritual Scratch & Sniff to get me through the day.

Wonder how long I can safely go without washing my hands? LOL.  


Visit my FaceBook page for 5 Awesome Tips To Rock Your Summer Solstice.  

"Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning." -Joseph Campbell

Speaking of "Campbells", I LOVE the hippie, free-spirited vibe of this Summer Solstice video Pixie Campbell made in honor of today, the longest day of the year...