A momentum of mind pulled Lohbado under water, into the stream of consciousness, which is often not very interesting. Most of the mental chatter is repetitive to the point of becoming oppressive and claustrophobic, a washing machine full of old memories, ideas and emotions. There’s a momentum that pulls the mind into a blur. Lohbado felt the momentum as he sat in the park and watched seagulls perform their morning ritual of flying around, a flock of birds, maybe a hundred, quite a spectacular display. It soothed his mind to watch the birds sailing about in the morning sky. Then they would settle on the lawn of the playing field and suck worms out of the ground.
Lohbado sat on the bench and gazed towards an apartment block on the horizon and at the birds and tree branches. Without leaves, the branches appeared in dark silhouette against a grey sky. The jagged line pattern of branches caught his attention, a visual labyrinth, evocative of ink drawings, of people in previous centuries who spent time meditating in nature, then doing a drawing and calligraphy to express the experience, contact with nature, a moment of awareness, lucid being. The branches brought back memories of decades ago, when he would go backpacking in the mountains.
It was amazing to finally arrive above tree line, in an alpine meadow, after hours of hiking a steep trail through the dark forest. He emerged from shadows into the brilliant ultra-violet light of high altitude. He gazed at vast plains of rock and towering summits. One kept going higher. As one reached one summit, another peak would appear even higher. Sometimes strong wind at the peak made it difficult to stand up. Lohbado remembered sitting in the lee side of a boulder at the summit of a mountain. The wind roar sounded like subway trains emerging from a tunnel, pulling up to a platform then speeding off again into the tunnel. The exertion of walking and being hours alone in the wilds forced him to pay attention to details. One had to be careful about each step, to not fall and get hurt, especially when crossing streams.
A few times in the Yukon he saw grizzlies. Sometimes he had to move quickly to pitch the tent in the rain, without getting the sleeping bags and provisions wet. The best part was relaxing after camp was set up. At high altitude, the rocks often had a vibrant optical effect from the pattern of lichen and various small plants and moss. Habitual reference points melted away as Lohbado became enveloped in the vast world of nature.