2015 in review: Ahimsa

I’ve long missed spilling my thoughts out here in this small space and wanted to update why I’ve suddenly gone offline. 2015 will go down as a year of major transformation: my chosen occupation, the inheritance of wildfires, and an opportunity for some serious introspection have all placed my trip bucket list on hold.

I was surprised at how suddenly my new job in Spring of this year exhausted me, emotionally and physically.  I was already acutely aware of how much dust was collecting on my draft posts immediately after I began working there.  I’m eternally grateful to be looking for another position, as well as for the ability to put aside some money during the last job so that I could have a little bit of time to kick out these posts.

I also look back on 2015 as another tinder-dry year for Oregon’s wildscape. Before, I was pretty confident about which areas to avoid while riding the open road; this year though, at least one of the fires was instantaneous and vicious.

My retrospection revolved around ahimsa, that concept of compassion and “do no harm”.  I already know I’m quite resilient in a number of unique and trying situations, but the longer I deliberately expose myself to dangerous or unhealthy environments, the further away I’m drawn from ahimsa. And, the idea of me not being able to ride out of a wildfire on a bike, on top of the stress of daily toxicities, seemed like a harmful risk to take.

Therefore, I’ve been turning to hiking this year instead of biking.  Portland hikers enjoy a close proximity to pretty pristine areas with incredible viewpoints, and many offer carpool options to carfree peeps like me.

I feel as though I’ve betrayed my poor trusty steel, though, and I miss riding through the solitude of those hours on the road. Even so, it feels as though I’m being compassionate to myself within the given circumstances of this past season.

jeffpark
It has been difficult to downsize but it still mostly comes down to packing and gear weight!

 

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