In real estate the agents say that what counts is “location, location, location”. Sometimes that may be true for our understandings of the world as well. Our location can frame the path of our reflections. Consider walking along an ocean beach or setting in a mountain meadow. For many of us that context can lead to deeper, more inwardly centered, perceptions or, in a similarly restorative way, to looser flows of mental associations that lead us to more fundamental and lasting impressions of what is.
Mountain House in
I was just there with some CRT colleagues in a retreat for scholars on Tuesday and Wednesday. They left on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning and I stayed on for a day before going to
And the sounds were of birds and the breezes in the leaves.
The hustle and bustle of humanity, the nitty-gritty, the details that provide cover and sustenance for the devils in our lives, were far away from consciousness. One felt a kind of open-ended, natural superiority in life. You could breathe in encouragement and breathe out doubts and anxieties, just as masters of meditation advise for our better health and well-being.
The view from Mountain House on such a day provides scope for our proper ambitions, making us once again masters of our fates and captains of our souls in a world that is conspiring to reduce us to trivia.
The view took me back to Robert Frost’s poem “Birches” which ends thusly:
Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree~
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.