breathtaking views

blue ridge parkway mountain me

if you have ever been up high on a mountain, then you know the power that you feel when you stand on the top, peering down at everything below. and, if you are like me, then it takes your breath away every single time. it’s an indescribable feeling of empowerment + humility, awe + wonderment. for me, it is always a spiritual experience – whether i have hiked up the mountain on my own two feet or driven a car around winding roads.

up there, closer to the clouds, with the great big open sky all around me, looking down on the beauty below, i feel that i can breathe more deeply than anywhere else in the world – even the ocean + the desert (though they are a close second and third). it feels holy. sacred. a special place where gods and goddesses and jesus and buddha and oracles hang out. so, when i climb a mountain and stand up there, i feel as if i am close to being in the presence of holiness. perhaps, i even brush up against holiness myself.

and, even though i am way up there, i do not feel disconnected from everything and everyone that is down below. in fact, i feel as if the perspective makes me closer + more connected. you see, when i am way up high, when i can breathe, i see + understand things as they really are. it’s like going inward and meditating. the ego is stripped away. fear, anxiety, and the desire for control fall away… because up on the mountain i remember what is important + what is real. up on the mountain, as i breathe in the air and touch the sky, i remember that love + peace + humility reign. i remember that we are not all little people running around, disconnected from each other, unable to relate to each other, selfish + greedy – even though we act like that.

up there in the fresh air, surrounded by trees, and standing in the sun, i am certain that, even though we get it wrong so often, we are one. one human race. and, once again, i believe in hope. i remember that, even though it doesn’t seem like it, this world exists to be a place of love + peace, and we all have a part in co-creating that world together.

so, filled with inspiration and a vision of how it is supposed to be, i climb back down the mountain to enter everyday life. because of the top of the mountain, i am prepared to go back into the valley. besides, i can always climb a mountain again.

with my dad on the top of a mountain back in 2008.
“Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all , and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.  And I saw that it was holy.” – Black Elk

light + love xx

the reynolds family goes camping: a short video by lier.se

hot springs camping campfire morning

about a month ago, lina + i did something that i loooove to do: we went camping. my brother, nick, announced to us sometime in august that he thought we should go camping as a family during the autumn – since we were all in the same place now… and not spread out across the state or across the ocean. so, the 3 of us decided that a camping trip to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday was the perfect reason to make this family outing happen.

we left on a friday afternoon for hot springs, nc, and set up camp until midday. while we were there, we basically made delicious camp food, sat by the fire, read some books, wandered a bit, drank beer, cooked + ate more food, and sat by the campfire some more. it was a magical weekend – one that i will never forget. one that i have stashed away in the recesses of my memory, knowing that i will draw upon those cozy late night, dark moments around the fire or those chilly mornings of preparing camp breakfasts together, for the rest of my life. everything was so simple + slow + real + intentional. we were off the grid + unplugged. just enjoying the surroundings + each other.

well, my amazing wife did her amazing thing and created a video of the weekend – so now i have a some live action memories of what happened that weekend; and i cannot express with words what this little video means to me. i cry every single time i watch it.

if you’d like, take a little look, and see how we spent our family weekend together. i’m gonna watch it again + again + again. hehe.

thank you, my love. you have ,melted my heart + touched me so deeply with this. i will cherish it always.

love xx