Time is Fleeting, Never Stop

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Unfamiliar territory, the uncertainty paralyzes. A surge of panic fills my head and heart, only to be soothed by the perfect amber of a freshly poured Czech beer.

“Here I go again…”

Lost.

Around me is a language I do not understand. Spreadsheets in front of me I cannot comprehend. A feeling of being exactly where I should be. I relax, surprised by the comfort of the chaos.

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The color refreshes a memory when I was lost in the more familiar surroundings of the Skokomish Wilderness.

The sky still black, I anticipate the amber sunrise when we summit…rather if we summit, as of right now, I have no idea where we are.

“Shit…” I mutter to myself, louder than I had wanted, waiting only seconds before the echo returns with her reply. “Oh my God, I can’t believe it. You are lost again aren’t you?”

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I ignore the question, wishing it away, but the echo continues, “Why did I agree to go on this climb?” She lets out an exasperated sigh, hidden within, a tint of laughter.

Unpredictability in life is the one thing I’ve found to be a constant.

A sharp blow of her hiking pole on my butt is her protest to my stifled laughter, “It’s not funny…” she declares and we continue up the mountain.

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“Why is it so difficult to stay on the path laid out in front of me?” I wonder and reach for my beer. Standing in the middle of uncertainty, again where every step I take leads me away from where I expect to be.

Would I want it any other way? Perhaps on some days…

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Uncertainty has become a friend of mine. Things change around me quickly and if I do not flow and evolve along with it, I’ll suffocate. Be miserable.

It is cliché, but there is truth in Maya Angelou’s quote, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Without change, we rob ourselves of beauty. We rot.

“Remaining at status quo stagnates the soul,” I think to myself, and kicking back with my beer I wonder if that’s such a bad thing?

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Yes, change can suck.

Albert Einstein once said, “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”

Ah yes, is there anything more destructive than unfulfilled expectations? I suppose this is the catalyst for change, to get lost in the world and explore ~ anything to avoid the poison of expectations.

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The chaos of setting out on a new path, getting lost, is part of the process. From the moment we are born, adventure turns fear into wisdom, sparking curiosity to discover.

I think back to standing on the precipice between mountain and sky… the abyss speaking to me, and I glance towards my beer, her amber words ringing clear as I empty my mug, “balance, my friend…there’s a time for adventure and a time to reflect on adventure.” I nod to the waitress for another.

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The echo breaks the stillness of the dark while my headlamp scans the trees and boulders ahead.

“Why, again, are we doing this?”

The only words I can think of are 时间不多,从不停 ~ Time is fleeting, never stop.”

Eight characters a friend of mine, Eric Moen, shared with me last year. Words to provide added incentive to spark change when comfort begins to lead to stagnation.

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Those eight characters take me back when I stood along Hood Canal admiring a pre-dawn sky, sparking a childhood dream to climb Mt. Ellinor and watch this land come alive with the sunrise. Yet, in all these years never taking the time to do so. Why?

“Why?” I add to my reply back to the echo, “To see magic. This is why we are here.”

“And… just exactly where is here?!?”

I begin to answer and then begin to question why I invited her. “A very good question…” and continue ahead to what I hope will become an opening.  

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There is nothing quite like the childlike curiosity we hold inside. The anxiety of pushing forward with new ideas, until that moment arrives ~ our heart rate slows and we unearth something new, something enchanting.

“I’m beginning to understand you never have a plan do you?” another question rings back my way.

Shuffling of hooves on the rocks above remind us we are not alone.

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“Not real sure any plan worked out the way I had imagined, so why bother…” is my quick reply, seconds ahead of another sting of a hiking pole on my backside.

I scramble up and around a set of boulders and come face to face with a familiar friend.

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Nature never ceases in its pursuit of change; never fears a new challenge change may bring. The sky and the sunshine call out to us all, “You are not alone, the universe is with you the whole way.”

A breathless gasp comes from behind, and her arm wraps around me along with a whisper “this place is so beautiful…”

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Take away expectations, lose the fear of change and get lost in the world. There is no greater truth: time is fleeting, never stop.

“Be the change.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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70 Comments on “Time is Fleeting, Never Stop

  1. Pingback: Time is Fleeting, Never Stop by Randall Collis | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  2. Randall, these photos are Just AMAZING.. and so are your words.. At the moment my brain is too tired to do a good reply justice..I want to re read your words in the morning Light and reply then.. And I know your voice is already echoing back to you the whispers you need to hear..
    I will return my friend..
    Sue

  3. The path of the goat 💛 I love your reflections along with such wonderful photos Randall.

  4. I am back……… 🙂

    “Uncertainty has become a friend of mine. Things change around me quickly and if I do not flow and evolve along with it, I’ll suffocate. Be miserable.”

    So true… Change is the one constant thing in our lives, without it we would stagnate.. And I do not think you are one to sit and stagnate for long..

    Lots of reflections as it seems you way up those expectations Randall.. I loved the weave of your story.. Remembering back, while being in the present..
    The Universe is forever calling us, showing us the way. We are never alone, even when lonely..

    May you forever be held, not only in arms, but by the beauty and love you have for nature.. Your captures here are just magical.. And I feel privileged to share in the grandeur that you have shared from your perspective and lens..

    The views had me gasping in appreciation for Mother’s Nature’s Beauty and the Goats head for heights and expert balance..

    Take care, and thank you Randall for sharing yet another part of your journey.. And I hope that Beer went down well..
    Cheers..
    Sue 🙂

  5. The photographs are always breathtakingly beautiful on your blog, Randall. The commentary that goes with them is thought-provoking too. Change really is all around (or in the case of my body, change is all round).

  6. Amazing. How you can hike and take such magnificent photos is a real accomplishment; all the gear needed to take pics is a challenge, and then to capture these great shots is outstanding. Bravo!
    I love how you take us along on your journey with the story and quotes. 🙂

  7. Randall, today even though your images cast spells of captivation it is your words that spark the mind into deep thought today. Thank you
    Kath.

  8. As always your vividly captivating photos are inspirational. One of our greatest treasures in life is to stay curious about the world and you show the rewards of this in abundance. Happy hunting.

  9. That first photograph is amazing, I love the colours and capture of that peace. Great reflective writing a skill I’m currently working on. I know how you’re feeling, lots of big change for me too, it’s like going backwards to go forwards, stopping momentum for a brief moment to try new techniques and skills, is this the right thing to do, is this sounding better, do I like it. Like you I’m an optimist, keep on swimming from Finding Nemo is one of my favourite sayings. So “Keep on Swimming” 🙂

  10. Visual beauty within the unheralded process of human thought grasping for straws that beg description, I see. Here I am, but there I am not? No way! In my mind, I was there; right there with you on the precipice of Life you so delightfully display.
    Great post, Randall! Long time no see, but I went with a change, and one change leads to another until we’re right back where we started.

    Cheerz to here and there, and every place in between! Peace, Keith

  11. Such beautiful photos as usual. I love the conversations going on…. So, did you find your way back? 😉
    Anyway, I hope you are keeping well!

  12. Yes, change can suck.
    Albert Einstein once said, “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.

    Now, this made me laugh this morning:)

  13. Your journey promises to be interesting, Randall. And your photos are breathtaking, as always. Cheers to what might open up after the next bend in the road. Nod for a third beer.

  14. So this is where you were. Rich post on the different journeys we take, and yes…I’m not sure men and women will ever understand one another! As for the photography, R, the leaves rob me of words.

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