Thursday, June 13, 2013

California Wilderness: Poetry in the Domelands


The Domeland Wilderness is in the southern Sierra, along the South Fork of the Kern River. It is open sagebrush country on the valley floor, with pinyon pines on the slopes. Naked granite domes and spires dot the ridgelines and mountain tops. The river meanders among willows, where beaver build their lodges and make dams.

From Chelsey Otis, aka Bubbles

The mornings are slow and whimsical, allowing me the time to gather myself and set intentions for the day. Splashing my face with water, I chant a little tune that one my tribe members made up in Death Valley: “Honor the water in my body. Honor the water cleansing my soul. Honor the water in the valley. Honor the journey to the watering hole.” This reminds of the sacredness and necessity of water, and is also a practice that I can carry with me when I return home.

The greatest day in Domelands was my solo river adventure. I took my Emerson book, lunch and sketch book and headed off down the river. Venturing through the reeds, barefoot trekking through the refreshing water…I had no agenda, no goals, no time limit and infinite imagination. It was the first time that I walked and explored for pure experience, for simply being with nature and openly experiencing every sensation and message it brought. I arrived at a beautiful spot in the river and let the poems flow…

From Roxy Friedman, aka Gayatri

Class discussions gather wisdom from the group and dive deep into engaging, thought provoking, and fulfilling questions such as "What is our purpose as human beings on this earth?" and "What is soul and spirit and how do we identify with these concepts?" The readings consume my mind and I notice the ideas of Emerson and Thoreau lingering around well after we discuss them, continuing to inspire my love for poetry and nature awareness.

As night falls, the campfire simply calls for us to gather around in a circle sharing song and making music. My time here has sparked some of the most powerful moments of personal growth in my life.

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