Souls In Reflection

A sensuous, exotic dance thrust across every corner of the star stained sky. Silent whispers in the wind, inaudible, beckoning the brave. The cold slipped like a silk nightgown; enchanted eyes glistening upward. An electric night, we too charged and excited. Oxygen swirling above, green and red photons pouring down in a flood all around us. We stood at the edges of the Skorradalsvatn, the lapping water reflecting rays in immeasurable degrees. The shimmering lake snaking from the east, spilling out and over the dam crest, carving the landscape down into Borgarfjörður, and then into the Greenland Sea. The Aurora floating along its’ winding course as all things connect in every dimension.

And then we turn, for the light demands attention in lieu of peripheral vision; Skessuhorn stands illuminated against the backdrop of the Skarðsheiði mountain range, blanketed with soft green and dull, burnt orange pigments. A beacon of West Iceland, an alpine summit towering toward the sky, jagged and laden with snow. Everywhere we turn the Aurora delights and dazzles the eye. A full spectral display awaited the night as we were rewarded with not only the oxygen gasses from all associated altitudes, but also the closer range Nitrogen gasses shining blue and violet. An ionospheric rainbow.

In this moment, thinking back to late December I am overcome with explicit emotion. It engulfs me. Overwhelms me. Nature blessing us now as it did on that very night in Bodø, only now more penetrable, infinitely, cosmically soul-abounding. Standing here with my wife I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Never a moment too soon nor a moment too late. The universe weeping with joy for our love, showing us that we are apart of it in every regard. Our atoms excited, charged, bursting with radiant light. Inside our souls the aurora dances to the rhythm of our hearts.

With you I am enraptured. With you life is more beautiful and enriching; the colors of our love run through every orifice of the world and splatter the landscape unabashed. We are connected like root to tree, atoms to living cell. Inseparable, interconnected, beautiful bounds of light acting and reacting to the stimuli that surrounds our lives.

The arctic chill stood still in the cool jeweled night, silence encompassed as if the earth was stopped in motion. Our smiles lit up by the starry glow, eyes focused skyward. The tranquil melody of the lake before us enchanting the scene. Unabashed in all her splendor, Night unveiled herself. Disrobing her dark starry garments, revealing her body of light. To the beat of our hearts thumping in our ears, she began to dance. A deep vibrant green glowing, basking elegance and grace. As our hearts beat faster, her excitement grew, her pace quickened. Moving with such fluidity, the great cosmic breath of the universe. Her colors deepened from different variations of green to a deep violet. Stretching herself across the sky, surrounding us from all angles. The sky was pulsating color, illuminating light, stretching arms of radiance.

It was as if all of the negative feelings of the world were lifted up into her embrace, dissolved from existence. We were held in a moment of pure bliss, serene clarity. A laying on of hands, a soul exchange. Any thought of the past or future vanished as the light absorbed me into the moment. I fell into the chrysalis with eyes closed yet my mind wide open. Completely aware and accepting of my vulnerability beneath this great vast sky, encompassed by this endless terrain of fire and ice.

In the sub-zero temperature, I felt a warmth growing within me, a liveliness, a bursting of being. I fell in love all over again, with this earth, with this existence, with myself, with him. The stars twinkled in and out of my vision like fluttering fireflies as I slipped into a memory. The memory of Bodø, Norway where my dearest poured his soul, melting into the arctic night. Where we watched these lights dance, bundled in layers, enveloped in love and enchantment.

Some people will go their whole lives without ever witnessing the splendor of this night sky phenomena. Some people will go their whole lives without ever experiencing a great love. I am grateful to have witnessed them three times so far with my heart growing bigger each time. I am grateful for a love that surpasses anything I could have ever created in my own mind. Just like a sunset, no northern lights viewing is ever the same. We will continue to chase their beauty throughout our lives together and we will continue to be awed and inspired by their magnificence.

“With life as short as a half taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.” -Rumi

So what are you waiting for?

Mr. & Mrs. Greenawalt

All day long, getting myself ready I was calm and collected. The day couldn’t have started more beautifully, waking up with you by my side, enjoying a nice breakfast then parting ways with an “I love you.”

The moment before the first look, my heart was pounding through my chest as I made my way down the rocks, across the sand, toward you. The view of you standing there dressed in blue velvet turned away towards the water, the water shimmering, dancing in the sunlight, the mountains towering graciously watching over us. My hand was shaking as I reached out to touch you, afraid you were apart of a mirage. I had to remind myself to breathe, but the moment I looked into your eyes I felt nothing but pure elation. I felt life as I have never felt it before. I felt nature’s duality tugging at my heart strings, the most terrifyingly beautiful feeling. And when you kissed me, the world dropped dead. The wind stopped blowing, the water stopped crashing upon the shore. It was just you and I and the flickering silence of the scene as we were glowing and glowing, igniting each other within. As I held you and felt your warmth, all went calm again, I thought, “this is it.” And it was better than I could have ever possibly dreamed.

The morning dew slowly lifted as the brisk, calm morning gave way to the gusty, nervous fervor of the mid afternoon. My mind and body taking the shape of the ever changing weather. I was collected when I woke, contemplative and reserved. Now restlessly placing weight on either foot, standing anxiously at the edge of the lake. How much time had passed? Was she really coming, did she turn back? Was this all a dream? I wanted to turn around, to look longingly up the hill, scanning the tree line for peace of mind. Ten minutes felt like an eternity as the water endlessly lapped at my feet.

Then, all of a sudden, the world stood serene, sober. The hyperventilated breaths of the wind slowly eased and relaxed. As I gazed out at the blue water I felt the warmth of her aura leading way toward me, and then at last, the touch of her hand on my shoulder. My eyes glazed; her beauty swallowed my breath whole. Stunted for words, all I could do was look on in wonder and awe. Her poetry, written in the expressions of her body moved me in and out of form. Hands clasped together in hers, I watched through tear stained eyes as our love took shape and enveloped over us. Completely, entirely fixed in place as Mother Nature united us inseparable.

On September 27th, one and one became three.

I am so incredibly happy to call you my best friend, my husband!

Goodbye to our old selves, hello to Mr. & Mrs. Greenawalt.

My heart is full and I’m so excited for the many adventures that await us! First stop, one month honeymoon in the land of fire and ice. ❤️

The Zen of Relationships

Finding a balance is the key to living simply.

I have always taken life as it comes, living freely, flowing with the present. I enjoy the freedom of spontaneity. The only importance being the here and now. Together, Greg and I provide the perfect balance to our relationship and to our lifestyle. He teaches me to be grounded, to remember to water my roots. I teach him to be air, to remember life is a breeze. With this balance, we have managed to create a life of our own choosing. A life of self given freedom, our only responsibilities being the nourishment of our happiness.

We have spent the past two years traveling together continuously, over a hundred thousand miles across our beautiful homeland, down to the Caribbean, across the seas to 12 different European countries. Our budget consisting of the basic necessities of food and gas. We spent our time investing in Recreational vehicles, traveling the country while fixing them up, then re-selling them to do it all over again. We have done seasonal work at different places in beautiful areas. Giving ourselves the opportunity to work hard and play harder, exploring new landscapes that we have never been to.

Throughout this experience we have been together 24 hours a day, deepening our connection beyond imagination. We have pushed each other beyond our self imposed limits; we have challenged each other to face our greatest fears. We have grown into something I never thought possible.

Most people would find a relationship like ours suffocating, being together all day, everyday. But for me, it has been the greatest learning experience. Learning about myself, my partner and what it truly means to love someone unconditionally. Even in moments of frustration, we recognize that we are all in, together. It’s hard to remain flustered with one another when we’re together all the time, we have to communicate. With there being no barriers between us, it makes communication much easier. Which in a sense is liberating, all of those little things that eat away at relationships, such as, anxiety, jealousy, fear are practically nonexistent.

People tend to believe that a relationship like ours requires tons of self-sacrifice. In some ways it does and in some ways it doesn’t. When you’re with someone who knows you as well as you know yourself, you can balance your needs much better. There is harmony in understanding when your significant other needs space and respecting that space. Even though we are together, we are our own entities first. It’s important to retain self-identity in relationships, most people tend to lose themselves in the other person which begins to build feelings of resentment. If you begin your relationship as a whole uniting into two, rather than a half uniting into one, you can carry your relationship a great distance. & that is how we thrive, showing up for ourselves as well as showing up for each other.

In this experience I have come to the realization, that each and everyone of us is our own creator. We create our happiness, we create our own magic. The best way to begin, is by finding your balance and I have found mine.

We as human beings, create the paths we walk in our lives. We are never truly bound by burden, for we are more than bone and flesh; we are soul. Once we open our eyes and see there is more to being than the physical aspects, we begin to let go. In letting go, we receive everything we’ve ever wanted. There will always be people who disagree and that just means this lifestyle is not for them. To each their own, do what makes you happy and always remember that it is possible if you, yourself, allow it to be.

I used to take life way too seriously. I thought, planned, and manipulated my time to benefit a future goal. Always stuck in the idea of what was next rather than enjoying the present situations before me. It left me tired, drained, unsatisfied. Even in the midst of a workaholic mindset I was always looking toward an escape. Working toward my interpreted freedom. So much has changed in the last few years that I had to stop and reflect, pause and analyze how I got here to this point.

I look at my life now and see an incredibly new, unique, and enthralling world that I otherwise may have never looked at on my own. I came to the conclusion that what separated the then, to the now, was finding a balance, a rhythm within love. This balance, like a covalent bond, is inherent in a loving relationship. We share ourselves equally to one another, without compromise or neglect to the self. Tyema has shared her keen sense of presence with me; a virtue that I am most thankful to learn and adapt into my life. I have learned to step back from myself in degrees and allow her energy to balance my once overbearing lifestyle. Learning to mesh it all together in order to embrace as well as prepare.

Our relationship is unique to many in the regard that we spend every moment together. When I think about it, I cannot envision a life beyond this feeling. It seems innate that we were meant to live, work, play and be together through all our life. As if everything in my past has been a build up to this moment. All the stress that I created for myself melted when my soulmate unveiled behind the curtain of my subconscious and entered the foreground. I believe that when we find our true love that it isn’t a matter of completing each other, as if we are half a soul waiting to be one; rather we are one and one who compliment each other and create a “third” being. Together we are the “third” that tips the scale of our own identity and bring a harmonious balance. First we live for ourselves, and then we live for each other. We never mask who we really are, nor do we attempt to suppress the other’s desires or needs. We understand and acknowledge that we are both uniquely different in our own respect.

When I came to the realization that we never lose ourselves and only aspire to bring out the best in each other, all of my inhibitions ceased. Life became simple and beautiful again. I see now that balance is irrefutably vital in all facets of life. When you can remain thoughtful, understanding, creative, contemplative, patient, true to yourself and the world around you, then you know freedom of self; a balance love, light, and happiness.

Capitol Reef National Park

We slowly crept along the Grand Gulch, thick chunks of rock, broken debris crushing under the weight of the wheels. Zigzagging back and forth across intersecting veins of the Grand Wash. Mangled, sun scorched logs and limbs lay displaced, waiting for the next thunderstorm to sweep them down into the Fremont, the Dirty Devil and into Lake Powell – by that time splintered and fragmented. In the washes and up on the banks their ancestors scatter, turned over through time, transformed, petrified into ancient fossils. An eerie relief walking through the desert to see time unraveled in front of our eyes. This barren desert, eroding rock and deepening canyons once a paradise filled with life and vegetation. We walk and drive on a crumbled, silent graveyard.

The heat radiates, unrelenting. 100 degrees mid day with no relief. A few clouds break up the deep blue and pastel sky but will not block out the sun for even a moment. The wind minimal, sagebrush still in the calm silence. As we continue further into the gulch the canyon walls begin to tower more dramatically. Water pockets etch out the sandstone on vertical walls, called tafoni, making homes for lizards, bats, and small desert life. They look like giant honeycombs, a labyrinth maze or network.

Along the banks of the lightly vegetated foreground we spot a mountain goat eating dry brush, contently staring at us as we slowly drive by.

This is an unforgiving terrain that is impossible to ignore yet undoubtedly incredibly magical. Towering rocks and large mesas adorn the eye. Captivated by the red and maroon iron oxide and black desert varnish stained walls. Driving through the wash is inherently humbling. At any time, without warning, rain from a hundred miles away could cause a flash flood, sweeping our truck and us along with it, no mercy. Caution is absolutely necessary.

Along the East-West route on 24 through the center of Capitol Reef National Park there is a short hike just across the Fremont River that will take you up to Hickman Bridge, a large natural bridge that you can hike around and underneath. It is a spectacular site; Hickman stained with Desert Varnish, thick chunks of rock smoothed and weathered through time. Along the hike, just over the first ascent, there are plenty of piñon pine to seek refuge from the scolding sun.

Another fascinating spectacle in this landscape is the Goosenecks Overlook trail just one mile off the main road. After just a short walk you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Fremont River as it silently flows through the continually carving canyon.

Capitol Reef has so much to offer in the way of its’ beauty that it simply cannot be explored in one day. Nor two. In fact we have been coming to this park countless times on our drives across Utah through Scenic Byway 24 and still have yet to see all its’ wonders. From the furthest southern edges of the Burr Trail and the Notom Road we have explored the parks most primitive side; roads ground in sand, uneven and rarely traversed terrain gradually climbing up and over the Waterpocket Fold. Through the scenic drive into the Grand Wash and down into the Grand Gulch from Fruita. Still we have yet to make it to Upper Cathedral Valley via the route from Fremont. I hope this summer we have the chance to explore more of the park, see and embrace more of this rugged landscape.

Fremont Indian State Park

Following the footsteps of the ancient cultures that dwelled here long before us, is one of the most fascinating learning experiences. From our home in the four corners, to the very edges of Lake powell, stretching north into the fish lake national forest. We follow the remnants of ancient civilization, from cliff dwellings to kivas, fragments of pottery to stone tools and petroglyphs. There is so much history hidden throughout this vast desert terrain. The winds finally pushed us down a scenic route to Central Utah in a valley surrounded by the fish lake national forest, to the Fremont Indian State Park.

The Fremont Indian State Park unfortunately runs parallel to I-70, but the ruins and petroglyphs were discovered in the creation of the highway. Therefore the Park is easily accessible as a road trip side stop. There are a series of interconnected trails located in this beautiful canyon, each holds pictographs and petroglyphs from the Fremont people. Keep your eyes open as you drive through the canyon because the petroglyphs are plentiful. Our favorites included the cave of 100 hands and The Indian Blanket.

The cave of 100 hands is a small cave featuring 31 hand prints on the cave walls. Just a short 1.5 mile hike following the clear creek leads you to the cave. The cave is surrounded by lush flora with wild berries growing and cottonwood trees, making the last portion of the hike slightly shaded.

The Indian Blanket story holds more magic, according to legend a new born baby of an Indian woman died and was buried somewhere near the site. During the winter, the mother painted a blanket on a rock face so the baby could use it to keep warm. The energy from this site was so powerful and beautiful. This story opens a door to understanding their beliefs and spirituality.

I have followed the creation story of SpiderWoman from the Navajo tribe to the ancient puebloan tribes surrounding our four corners. SpiderWoman is my favorite legend, she is the symbol of feminine energy believed to have weaved all things into existence with her thoughts.

The Fremont Indians also believed in SpiderWoman, leaving behind pictographs of SpiderWoman on these beautiful sandstone rock faces. Numerous pictographs and petroglyphs displayed stories, tales of hunting quests and rites of passage, helping us to understand a little bit more about this native culture and their way of life.

Walking the paths of this small state park, the lands lay open for us like a book. Our hearts and spirits lifted with each story unraveling before our eyes. We wondered in amazement at the beautiful simplicity, yet complexity to our understanding, of this ancient civilization. We closed our eyes trying to imagine what these lands would have looked like a thousand of years ago where their village once stood. All in all, Fremont Indian State Park was a very cool little spot to check out! We definitely recommend for anyone passing through the area❤️

Mystic Hot Springs

There are hidden worlds in everything.

We open the doors, opening ourselves.

To the beauty that sits quietly, vibrating loudly.

We sink our weary limbs far beneath the surface.

Of life. Of love. Of time.

We fold gently like ripples, we quiver, we break.

Converging as one, one flow, one love.

Mystic as the waters

Through vents we find Earth’s hidden delights

That show us a world of interpreted health.

Away with apothecary, the molesters of soul,

For we find the source and become once again whole.

It’s simple, a soak. Breathe in and let go.

Return, return, return and repeat.

What else is there than Earth’s crust at our feet?

So believe in the water that flows through us all,

In the clouds, underground in every mystical realm.

The energy and heat, the power and steam,

The minerals soak into my mind and body.

Oh how I cherish Nature’s wondrous retreat

Searchin’ For A Rainbow

We all know the saying, “life is short” and it definitely does seem like time passes us by so quickly. Rather than focusing on the brevity of time, we believe in the importance of how we choose to spend our time. Are we doing what makes us happy? Do we feel fulfilled with our life choices?

Throughout our lives we face many obstacles, whether the obstacles are internal, meaning we are holding ourselves back. Or the obstacles are external, meaning something or someone else is holding us back. In those moments of difficulty we must stop and dive deep into self-awareness.

Most internal obstacles stem from fear, the fear of the unknown, the what if’s, the million negative possibilities we come up with in our heads. Fear is a perpetrator that diminishes self-love and self-confidence, it is a tight bond of suffocation that must be broken in order to reach ones happiness. It is not always an easy accomplishment but overcoming the challenge reaps so many rewards. It’s important to tune in with ourselves often, come back to our roots. Asking ourselves “Am I doing what makes me happy? If you find that fear is holding you back from living your best life, it is time to take a leap of faith. Believe in yourself, face your fears.

External obstacles can be family, friends, relationships and the differing beliefs standing in between. You want to live your life a certain way, this life brings you happiness and causes no harm, but someone else thinks they know what’s best for you. Discovering that the people you love do not support your decisions is a tug of war pulling at your heart strings. Love is meant to be selfless, not controlling or demanding. Love is finding happiness for others outside of ourselves. When someone you love is trying to domineer your happiness of lifestyle, it is time to take a stand for yourself. Life is not about pleasing others, it is about supporting one another in harmony despite our many differences.

-We follow paths that bring us closer to ourselves.

The further we continue, the more we lose touch with everyone else.

Yet each wild step sets our spirts on fire.

And the fear we once felt, has turned to desire.

El Arte de nuestra naturaleza se está volviendo.-

(The Art of Our Nature is Becoming)

I am thankful to have grown up with the freedom to choose my own energy, who and how I wanted to be. Growing up, life was minimal, we didn’t have much money and my family situation was very unorthodox. As kids we were pushed to read, to write, to go outside, to be creative. It was a mode of self-discovery that has made me who I am today. I choose a lifestyle of passion, passion for every experience and every lesson I am taught. I choose to live my life how I live it, for myself. The thing that I love most about Gregory is that we love each other selflessly. Although most of our beliefs coalesce, we also have our differences, but we never attempt to domineer one another over them. We listen to each other with eyes and hearts wide open, appreciating what the other has to teach. We challenge each other to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, empowering one another through unconditional support. We have had our fair share of internal and external obstacles, we have danced in a ring of fire and together we threw off the challenges with a shrug. We live how we choose despite what others think because this is our happiness.

If life is so short, why not spend your time with the people who love and support you, doing the things that bring you happiness?

For us, our happiness lies in traveling, in each other and in the deep connections we build. Happiness is not something you attain like reaching a goal, it is something you must strive for every single day. Happiness requires struggle, and it is how we answer to negative experiences that brings out the positive. When we make a conscious attempt to elate ourselves, life becomes simpler, everything is seen from a new perspective.

Everyday we ask ourselves, “What do we want to do?”

And our happiness awaits in the answer. 🙂

Over the past six years I have grown so much into myself, constantly learning, adapting and changing into the man I am today. From triumphant highs of elation to plummeting spirals of depression, I have forcibly felt the extremities of the ebb and flow of life. A rigorous struggle for self identity, self worth and self awareness. Trying desperately in spite of uncongenial outlets, that plagued my thirsty soul, to search the world over appeasing my adventurous dreams. A series of misguided attempts at happiness brought me further into despair in my later teens when hindsight rebutted my actions. Told and made to believe that growing up fast would ensure happiness and secure the future. Manipulated into a world of profit and calculated margins.

I have never had a keen sense of remembering conversations, but I do remember a time and a feeling that I should have paid closer attention to. In the midst of building a stunted life, based on a monetary ideology, I was told to slow down by one of the most important figures in my life. Told to sit back and clutch onto my slowly disappearing youth. In that time I was jaded to the idea, felt as if those thoughts were malicious in sentiment for some apparent disregard to reason. If I would have known then, what I do know now, I would have rode my bike longer and further, would have stayed out later with friends, would have found more time to play, hope, dream and roll in the whimsical frenzy of youth. I would have clung to it, steadfast.

But this is not about regrets or what could have been done differently. This is about accepting and making a consistent, conscious effort to remain true to self. Youth has faded amongst my peers. Now on a fast track to unthinkable delirium. Fixed mortgages, school loans and car payments. Stuck in the void. No longer will I feel pressure from or the need to pacify others. Our lives dedicated to living in the present, focusing on our happiness together. Taking each day at a time and living it fully. Our contribution to the world is our love and excitement, our embrace of everything natural and real. It is our duty to ourselves to continue to live exactly the way we see fit, to assert our identity with passion and integrity.

Through grief and love I have learned, what I feel to be the most important lesson, that there is nothing in the world more precious than life itself. Fleeting and vulnerable, which makes it powerful and incredible. I have learned to not have shame or fear in anything that we do, but instead focus entirely on the passion that compels us to continue. Life has become simple and inspiring. A joyful journey.

Life is to be celebrated. Make a lasting promise to live each day as if it were your last; embrace the chaos and make light the ridiculousness of mankind’s mapped out, strategic attempt at satisfaction through stability. Today we celebrate a life that has passed through the tiny window of time and moved on to the infinite spectrum of our memory. A man celebrated for his wisdom and compassion. Celebrated for his unconditional understanding and didactic discipline toward enriching happiness. Instead of sadness, which typically swells around all other emotions on this day, June 30th, we embrace the life that was lived and reflect on the beautiful memories that we keep, continuing to live life to the fullest, which is what he wished most for his children.

“He went, just as he had come, with a spark of ferocity in his eye…When the wave crashed, it fizzled out slowly and hit the coast. He rode his wave for fifty-one years, and finally came to shore on a dismal Wednesday afternoon. He had been searching for his rainbow, and at last, just before the final chapter was played out, his feet drummed to the melody of inevitability.”

The Tunnels Left Within (Part One)

Wherever your soul may be, let it soar high and free, looking down on us as we look up and out for you. I promise to live this life as true to myself as I can and never forget this incredible lesson: to search forevermore for unyielding happiness, to embrace myself, my lover, my world and my health.