Others’ Worlds

On March 17, 2010, in Friends, Lifestyle, by Meghan

Whether we possess our own children or not, almost all of us have spent enough time with little people to realize how differently they look at the world from us grown-up types. Many of us have learned enough from said tykes to know that wee ones acquire information about the world via their sensory organs. It might drive a parent batty to watch a pre-schooler stuff dirt into her mouth, but it is through this precise process of looking at, listening to, touching, tasting, and smelling that she will understand in her child-like way the composition of dirt. I’ll bet at one time or another, to the disdained opines of an authority figure in your early life, you did the very same thing!

This idea may be extended far beyond the world of watching children. So much may be learned by watching the way that anyone exists. That is, our own lil’ minds can by-themselves comprehend only so much of this big, beautiful planet. But by seeing how others see the world, our piece of the universe gets many times wider.

Over the last 8 weeks, I’ve spent quality time with a few really awesome human beings in some ridiculous natural settings. I’m a fortunate girl! We had good times in our backcountry meanderings, of course we did! Through all of that adventuring, I was gifted with the experience of seeing the world through the eyes of my fellow travelers. I learned from them that our planet is a glittery place!

On the first weekend of February, Leslie and I took to some trail running in Joshua Tree National Park. There, I watched Leslie be with the world around her whilst in the possession of a juvenile kind of joy most often lost by folks when they pass through those angst-y teenage years.

Leslie and I hitchhiked after a point-to-point run. No one picked us up for a long time, though, so we entertained ourselves on the road.

Leslie lives by her theory that, while we grow up in our bodies, we don’t have to so much become adults in our minds. At least when it comes to most elements of life.

Leslie bounds down from Joshua Tree National Park's high point, Ryan Mountain, on a frigid-but-bluebird February morning.

Of course we have to become adults of some sort. But, according to the Life Theory of the Sunshine Girl (Leslie), the possession of a playful, joyful, stress-less spirit is the right way towards big person-hood. I adore this about Leslie and I try to everyday conjure her ways. That is, even when I have my big girl pants on at work or something else equally adult-ish, I remind myself that Leslie’s big girl pants are probably not quite covering her buttocks.

Lucky me, I spent a mid-February long weekend ambling through the high country of Yosemite National Park with Gretchen and Bryon. Besides being a freaking cool backcountry companion, Gretchen taught me that our world has layers, and lots of them.

Gretchen and I contemplate granite near Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. And what happens when clouds meet granite. And, and, and...

I’m a trained scientist, so, upon learning about the layered nature of our world, it’s my natural inclination to get right down to the bottom-most of all those layers. My backcountry experiences with Gretchen have taught me a natural-world patience, acceptance with regard to all of those zillions of facets. From her I’ve now come to see that sometimes there is room for the contemplation of those layers and their intricacies, and sometimes there is but space for acknowledging the presence of complexity.

What circulates through the mind of the lovely Gretchen as she ambles in Yosemite's winter?

In reality, Gretchen is just like her seeming world philosophy. There’s something so obvious about her. Then, there are a million secreted details about her that one must come to understand as not quite understood. I’m, thus, drawn equally to the tendencies of both her spirit and perspective.

Two weekends ago, Bryon and I took to the Yosemite National Park backcountry. Yep, again we did! Good thing there’s a lot of it out there to explore, really a lifetime of it! In case you haven’t figured it all out yet, Bryon is a mover and a shaker. He’s like a combined washer and dryer unit, where your clothes are somehow washed and dried at the exact same time. Well, maybe he’s more of a peppercorn cracker; it makes pepper flakes whilst spreading those flakes on your food, all in the same wrist twist. Perhaps I better stop with the analogies or I won’t be welcomed home tonight!

Bryon leans into the creek that laces through Smith Meadow in Yosemite National Park.

All I can say about this kid is that, if you hold on by his coat tails, you’re going on a pretty phenomenal ride. Movement and doing equates to empowerment by that goat’s standard. It’s hard not to get giddy in his presence, to want to be here, then there, then over there somewhere else pretty quick-like. The powerful feeling that is derived through movement is compelling, sating, addictive almost. I can see why Bryon is the way he is!

Bryon descends the Smith Meadow Trail towards the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.

From Bryon I have learned that there are moments to sit and observe, and there are moments to just plain get a move on. But more importantly, there is much to be learned from each experience.

Some days, I can’t wait to crawl beyond the mortal me into others’ worlds, to see through their eyes what this planet offers them. On those planetary exploration days, I’m lucky to be surrounded by good people with superb perspectives on the world. While I don’t think I’m shortly going to eat dirt, everyone, including the dust-gobbling toddler, offers a unique view.

6 Responses to “Others’ Worlds”

  1. JeffO says:

    You sound so profoundly happy, Meghan! That's awesome!

  2. Gretchen says:

    I'm not sure this post says as much about the people mentioned as it does about you; a very wise, observant and life-loving person. I love that you take the time to contemplate these things.

    I guess it's good to see yourself through other people's eyes. Your comments about me are not the kinds of things I usually hear. It's quite interesting! The fact that you thought about these things, and took the time to write about them, well, it makes me feel appreciated in a very cool way. Thanks, Meghan!

    I can also echo your thoughts on Leslie and Bryon, from the small time I've spent with them. Such cool peeps! This might sound cheesy, but I mean it sincerely: We gravitate towards you because you're so amazing. I mean, people with overlapping values, and outlooks on life appreciate each other. Sometimes the people with whom you surround yourself are a bit of a reflection of you.

    Anyway, I hope to share many more adventures with you Meghan!

  3. Tom says:

    Hi Meghan; the picture "What circulates through the mind of the lovely Gretchen as she ambles in Yosemite's winter? " has got to be one of the best I have seen on any blog…

  4. Danni says:

    And then there's Meghan, who is hilarious and serious all at the same time in a way that is just so lovely.

  5. Sunshine Girl says:

    So, are you like saying that I'm not like mysterious and intelligent like Gretchen!? I WANT to be mysterious and multi-faceted! Like an avalanche! Yeah!

    All jesting aside – ditto to what Gretchen said. Like attracts like. I love that you are always striving to learn, learn, learn – and that you take the time to appreciate. Thanks!

  6. Meghan says:

    JeffO, you're kind and correct! Hope all is well with you!

    Gretchen, thanks kind lady! I, too hope to share more play with you!

    Tom, thanks! However, due credit goes to Bryon Powell, who snapped that amazing shot! I did pass along your good words to him!

    Danni, wowie, it's compliments to Meghan day, thanks!

    Leslie, if you were an avalanche, you might kill all your friends. I like you just the way you are, and I can't wait to play more with you!

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