BACK to the Present - Creativity Stoked
Spend 10 days canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (BWCWA) and you learn the root of vacation: to vacate. Away from all technology, newspapers, cell phones and automobiles, I found my mind slowly weaning itself from the everyday demands and dilemmas of running a business and a home. If the biggest challenge is how to paddle against 20 mph headwinds, there is no mental capacity left to engage in anything but total concentration for the moment. In the bow position of a lightweight canoe, I not only needed to pull my weight but also keep a sharp lookout for submerged rocks. In some cases, the sun's glare shadowed the boulders that could easily puncture a hull. What a test of reflexes! Calm water let my mind empty itself of everything except observation of the shoreline, the diving loons and the soaring eagles. From that state, I began to notice how nature offers a continual feast for the artistic soul in all of us. Surely the black and white spotted pattern on a loon's chest was a masterpiece. Or what stories could I create from the designs I imagined in a brilliant night sky. Surely the ancients had tales of Taurus and Virgo, or Ursa Major and the Gemini twins. When your mind is vacant, it opens to new knowledge and ideas. You're not stuck in the past or worried about the future. Ahhhh... no wonder a real vacant vacation can be termed holy leisure.