Another Turn Around the Sun

30de398ee2f123cba7afcb8d339d56adAs the year ends and a new one begins, take the time to use the change for renewal and reflection. Also, take a moment to breath and look inside, take any residual pieces of yourself that are hindering you and let them go. A new year is not a time to make plans and goals you’ll never keep, don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Let’s instead choose to make maybe a handful of small changes, letting go perhaps of something that you have held onto a little too tightly for the last year. Let me walk you through what I see in my mind for all of us on this wonderful day.

Standing up from our comfortable huddled positions, we stand the dust of the previous year falling around us. Pabst in hand we peer around looking for the crystal chandelier, instead we see nothing just dark expanse. Out of the dark comes a small flicker of an image, but the light flickering is a flame inside of your belly. Fear sets in, what is that?! We exclaim. The flickering light is warm and slowly it grows and suddenly you feel safe and you feel almost as if the flame is consuming something you didn’t know was there some emotional baggage shoved under the bed after the long trip. At first at the thought of letting go of that emotional baggage, we cringe, what would we do without that? At this point that baggage has become a part of your formed personality, to lose it would be to have to reform yourself again. This could come in the form of baggage so to speak or it could just be residual hate/love/awkward feelings that you have harbored, long unable to release for unspeakable reasons. In this moment you can choose to let that flame expand and take the things that you no longer require, that do not benefit you and your experience, if you would only let them go. In this moment, we let them be taken, and the flame grows except its not a flame at all it’s a warm soothing light that at the release of your baggage glows more brightly for just a moment then dims until it goes out completely. At the lose of the light you again stand in a dark room, but then only just then do you realize that there was a door in reach this whole time, so you open it now and walk out of this dark room you had put yourself in and walk out into the bright new undiscovered territory. Its beautiful and new on the other side and you would have known earlier if only you could have had the power to get yourself out of a situation you knew to be dark and diminishing to your inner self.

Essentially what I want you to gather from me today is hopefully some courage today or in the future to take the dusty things we keep in the shelves of our minds and hearts that clutter and confuse, and let them go. Dust them off look at them and gently release them, shed tears if you need to and if it takes more than one attempt that is okay just do it eventually.

This year, I will attempt this myself, to let go of that thing I have dragged with me most of my adult live, that person that I have held onto who I really formed most of my being around. Who will I be without that? That terrifies me. We cannot hold onto that which hold us back from our paths, happiness or progress, well at least I cannot anyway, I can’t speak for you and should not even try.

So in this new year please get out there, explore and grow in whatever way you need to. So much love and light is being sent to you, whoever you are way out in the nothingness of space.

-Leah

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

 

Hunting, fishing and what they can do for you.

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Many people often have odd reactions when I say that I hunt (not as often when I say I fish). These reactions are often associated with the negative image of the hunter or sportsman as we call them. People think of the jerk that goes hunting from his pickup truck, shoot an illegal deer, takes the head (leaves the meat to rot- Illegal by the way in WA) and then mounts said deer head to his wall right about his gun rack. Now that we have illuminated what people think of when I say “hunter” let me lay down what I think it means. Many people who react negatively to hunting ironically eat meat, ironic why? Because they eat meat, but do not condone the act of hunting. These individuals eat meat maybe even from “humane” farms, but take no care to understand what it means to raise, kill and butcher the meat they eat. A good hunter who has done his or her job correctly has harvested meat to go into the freezer and feed themselves for a long season. Really hunting is a way of making sure that you have meat on the table that is free of antibiotics, is certainly “free range”, has experienced a good life, had a quick death (which is assured by the hunter who makes good shots, target practices, uses correct calibers and tracks the animal if it runs away wounded) and is certainly cheaper than the same amount of meat bought at the store. Not to say that everyone should rush out to hunt because it isn’t meant for anyone and everyone and that is okay! I feel immense amount of respect for wildlife of all kinds from the deer to the fish I kill, its participating in the food web the way I feel we were meant to. There are many of the other kind of hunters though, the ones who don’t buy licenses, don’t pay attention to seasons or restrictions and take without care of how it is done, these people will tell you its their right as Americans, well to them I say nothing because the ignorant will never understand how much they hurt the system because they cannot see the system they can only see themselves. When you purchase hunting/fishing licenses that money goes to conservation efforts in your state, making sure that there is a future for the wildlife that you pursue. Humans have again and again exhibited their ability to annihilate a species for nothing more than their own pleasure (or maybe a small amount of money) think the Stellar Sea Cow or the Passenger Pigeon, GONE because no one regulated the taking of these animals. However there are many honorable sportsman out there so take care to categorize them with the others because they do more than you know. Do you know that also if you volunteer your time you can participate for a program offered through Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife called “eyes in the woods” where you can learn how to report illegal activity to the state? Or there’s a hotline through them also that you can call if you see anything iffy happening so that something can be done about it?

http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/reporting_violations.html

Basically what I wanted to convey through this post is that we all have different ways of living and we may or may not understand or respect those ways however your opinions/morals are your own created through your own living experiences so take care to try to understand others before saying something that may be harmful. And maybe just maybe you’ll think about taking control of the sourcing of you foods buy growing and harvesting as much as you can from your own home or the area around it, because not only is it more meaningful but also more sustainable. Thank you for your time and understanding.

“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac