Having just come back from a two week vacation/road trip through the prairies and the Rocky Mountains, with a 6 day stay touring around Salt Spring Island and attending 3P School, it reminded
me of that fact that no matter what I do or where I go, I always bring my head with me. And so in every moment, I was never experiencing the trip, I was only ever experiencing the thoughts in my head.
And sometimes my thoughts were lovely… There was some appreciation for wide-open prairie as far as the eye could see, dotted mostly with telephone
poles, mellow cows, a few oil wells, and a single lonely run of railroad tracks. There was some appreciation for the unfathomable immensity of the mountains, towering so high that the 100’ trees clinging to the rocks and immense waterfalls cascading
down the sides often appeared as mere dots and lines, and every curve in the road presented a new breathtaking view to take in. There was some appreciation for the ferry ride to and from Salt Spring, the clank clank of the wheels and weight of our car hitting
the platform as we boarded, the scent of the fresh air filled with sea and fish and seaweed, the poetic pulsing ballet of the jellyfish in the water, and the surreal moving landscape of sculpted islands and towering trees and painted clouds. And there was
also some appreciation for the stay on Salt Spring Island, meeting friends old and new, settling into the silence, and exploring all the little treasures on the island that are hidden just enough to give some mystery and challenge in finding them.
And sometimes my thoughts were not so lovely… There were some moments of boredom as we travelled
mile after mile along the unending flatness of the prairies. There were some skipped heart beats, holding onto my breath as we took some steep mountain cliff corners a little faster than my level of comfort preferred. There were some anxious moments for the
ferry, determining where to go, when to go, and how to get there, along with the unpleasant fumes from the engines while at dock. And there were also some anxious moments on the island, getting somewhat lost on multiple occasions as well as just getting lost
in the habitual craziness in my head.
The interesting thing about all of it, is that none of
what I experienced on the trip was inherently lovely, or not lovely. Every single thing and every single moment was just something I happened to have had my attention on, so that my thinking system generated some thoughts about it, and then I, without conscious
effort, paid extended attention to some thoughts, giving them some significance or meaning, and paid little attention to other thoughts, letting them pass on through with barely a nod.
And although it would make some sense that our trip would be nothing but a lovely experience, as proved by plenty of photos and videos posted on Facebook, the truth
is that every moment of my experience was not what showed up in the photos, but what appeared in my head. Every moment was completely neutral and impersonal, until I made up a personal story about it, either good or bad. And every single moment of my experience
came from my head, because I happen to take my head wherever I go.