(please, be sure to check the stories of Redington earlier in this month’s posts)
Today, there is much less water than just a few days before .
The thing about Redington Pass is that there is little norm here. The water doesn’t always flow. There are often times of drought, when only pools can be found, and then those times pools turn to puddles, when life clings on, waiting for the next rain.
We were expecting more water today, because last night there was a nasty storm on the east side of our valley out by Barb’s house. She told us that it was like a “hurricane” for hours. That’s just over the hill from where we stand.
We saw on the way here, that two familiar mesquite trees are uprooted. Sand is all over the roads where water was flooding. A concrete block wall was knocked over, creating a pond in someone’s enclosed backyard. Water rushed in, but couldn’t rush out, flooding like the entire backyard was a swimming pool.
Apparently, there was no storm here at the pass. There is no evidence of flooding.
We’re at Redington Pass again. The Monsoon is extra wet and we can’t resist this place. Today, we decide to take the high road to avoid the crowds and make better time toward the upper part of the flow.
The vegetation has grown thick here. So, having come nose to nose with rattlesnakes along here before, extra caution is taken. I wouldn’t want to disturb anyone’s daily beauty rest.
We descend the last tall steps into the bedrock bottom of the canyon.
There appears to be even more water since the rains last night. This place changes daily, when the rains come.
Off to the side of the main channel, a feeder stream is flowing with fresh rainwater. I try the little waterfall and sip a drink!
They say that one needs to use imagination to manifest something.
There has been drought. Now, a month, or more of excessive heat. Did I mention drought?
Last year, we arrived back in Tucson into the results of an historically wet monsoon. I remember those days. Our vacation seemed extended, by playing in the flow of the water in Redington Pass.
It’s time for monsoon again. It isn’t a consistent event, anymore. So maybe, it’s time to manifest this year’s fun by revisiting last year’s. Rain dance anyone?
Casually, we make the twenty miles, or so, to drive across town and the width of the Tucson Valley. The more urban Tucson fades into larger home lots and fewer strip malls. Tanque Verde Road begins its two lane up and down dips through the lush mesquite desert.
Fresh flowers from rains are abundant. Frequently, natural gardens appear where different species cluster.
The trail down into the canyon is surrounded by a verdant garden. The path has become overgrown. The gardens of flowers reach out to brush against our nude bodies. The color and variety is compelling. I have to stop along the way to admire it all.
The roar of the waters below us, echo up to our ears. Our sense of excitement grows.
One day last summer, the water was up high at Redington Pass. It was a wonderful day. Freely nude, I was roaming over the rock formations and playing in all of that amazing water. The falls were tall, short, fast and slow, the ponds, shallow and some deep. Each delighted us in a unique way. Some were effervescent. Always it was refreshing and joyful.
Being nude in nature is the more complete experience. I’ll see things that were not seen before, simply by awareness, sight, sound and smell. I feel all around, picking up on the nature of nature. It is one thing to experience this in a back yard, a resort, or around the house, but then a step further and there is that immersion into the rich natural world.
Immersion is to understand that nature plus nudity is naturism. Without coverings, it is quite different to sit, to walk, to contemplate, and spontaneously discover the complexities of the web of life. There is a sense of a gift, when feeling the nuance of the moment through the sensuality of the many ways that nature is reaching out to touch, to accept, to take and to give. There is a naturalist in each of us, if we can walk out in humility and respect, and wonder.
What better way to interact with the divine gifts, than to present ourselves naked. What better way than to surrender to the elements, just as when we entered into life as babes. Our ancient forebearers coexisted and harmonized for millennia before history. We grew out of; we evolved in this mixing bowl, this blessing for us. We are adapted and attached to the natural world in a multitude of ways that living in man-made shelter in man-made garments can’t express to us.
All of these lessons and directions given to us as human beings of this earth, are constantly being expressed, or they are dying in us. Millions of interactions are happening every moment, which we are just not aware of. So much of this is life missed, sacrificed to immediate needs, channeled into a survival mode, replaced by stress, the future, those many plans and the games which lie in conscious thought. To expand consciousness, to be amazed by the wonder that is life and universe, then we must sometimes, or often, need to stop and look and listen and smell and feel and just be.
The direct link, the key, is to drop out of our man made world and visit into what created us. Naturism can be in the complex reality of natural environments and away from the creations of our egos, fears and our self-inflicted stress. The simple harmonious joy is our birthright.
Nature is not just to conquer, to fight, or to master, but to surrender to our true existence, which is our world less characterized by reactions to fears. There is trust and oneness with it.
Take off your clothes and walk down a natural path, feel every step with nothing more than the whole of the blessing that is body, spirit and a sense of being a part of all of the rest. Each and every step can be a wondrous moment. A footstep an amazing savored nibble, or decadent bite out of life.
So, the water was particularly strong at this little rapid. I climbed into the force of it, grasping for purchase, anything that would anchor me, searching blindly under the suds for a grip. At any moment, I would be swept away back downstream. The force of water and Mother Nature is fascinating. A movement of just a few inches would catch me up in a particular current and toss me in a different direction. I fought and I laughed. I felt played with, a child and his mother, nature. She just tussled and gamed me. I was all on her terms, in her arms, immersed in her joy with me.
There are those favorite places in the world. One of those, for me, is in Redington Pass.
When the flow is strong, the stream splits into dozens of channels in the bedrock.
There is a boulder there, large and flat. I can sit with my legs crossed India style. The slight slope makes it more comfortable. There, as the waters cascade down the carved channels toward me, I feel wonderfully alive.
The mist from the turbulence of the falls floats by, across my bare body, chilling just right, as the sun warms my back.
Minerals and tannins create effervescence. The tiny bubbles fizz like root beer, fizzy all over, up into nostrils. I touch the world with the inhale of breath. I smell fresh mineral vapors.
It is like an energy, a presence that flows down. Chinese call it chi, the natural fung shui of it seems evident. I raise my palms and know something unique.
Sound is only the pleasant roar of water flow and the silence in-between. It seems to wash away any thoughts that have nothing to do with where I am right now, here, alone, at one with nature.
Here we are, it’s Spring again and a first warm opportunity, a perfect day has presented itself. We were looking for a hike, to enjoy our deep tropical tans. Just over a week ago, we were in Zipolite, Mexico. Spoiled, we’re after sand, water and more of that terrific sense of liberty.
We have to stay down in the desert, because elevation makes the air much cooler up in the mountain’s trees, at this time of year. We also, want to try something new.
Redington probably has water from the recent rains. We thought of hiking the sacred mountain Babaquvari, but that is such a strenuous hike. We just feel like taking it somewhat easier. There is fresh ground up past Redington Canyon that would be new to us. We’re off.
There are those trying times when one gets a bad break, financial plans fall apart, troubles at work, you know, stress explodes. Even thinking positive thoughts, one might wake up in a cold sweat, or have a sense in the stomach enough to take away any appetite. While it may seem like there is no relief in sight, there is a reprieve waiting. For stress, the natural prescription is getting naked and going for a hike. Get away and get in the present moment.
That’s what we did Sunday. A gorgeous day presented itself and we headed for Redington pass.
Redington Pass is always such a pleasant little trip. It is only a half of an hour carnuding from Central Tucson to the trailhead. It feels like getting away from everything, leaving the pavement, the urban structures are miles behind.
We park just off of the road. The quality of the space is first come first serve. Usually, I can park right next to the trailhead in my 4×4. There’s a hill with a gulley there that most vehicles don’t dare. This spot gives me a clothing optional access to the trail.
Of course, I go for the more liberal option, but at times, there can be others around. We don’t want to upset the opposition. The now, clothing mandatory area’s trailhead is just a couple of hundred feet down the road. There can be textile sensibilities within view. You just never know with people like that, how that they may react. We all want to be left alone.
Generally, we are free, especially on weekdays. I have learned to take something like a sarong to protect my shoulders, in case we want to stay longer than planned. If my ability to relish my freedom is impeded, it is only a very short 50 feet or so to the first sign and I’ll have that sarong around my waist. There, we are enough out of sight to get completely comfortably nude.
I feel the pleasant sense of liberation, knowing that I don’t have to dress. My nudity is accepted, a norm and not a surprise to anyone. Everyone is pleasant, whether they chose to dress on the trail, or not. There is nearly always a friendly greeting, or a smile. From that sign, we are in liberated territory. Life is as it more ideally could, or should be.
I smell Spring. I’m grasped by the air and sun. A breeze comes by and I swish it in my hand. I am of this Earth.
Redington Pass missed out on its monsoon rains this year. It has been a sad and befuddling experience to arrive and to find naked people sitting in the shade and waiting for water in the rocks.
There are times of drought, in Tucson. There are mini-climates in this area. An entire region is sometimes flooded and next door there is drought. The Rincon Mountains didn’t produce the cascades to flood the canyon. There was some rain, but it only produced ponds and no flow. Where a black wall of water used to roll in everyday like clockwork, extremes have taken over.
I’ve been looking at some old pictures of Redington. They are of DF and me back in 2009 and 2013. I also found a couple of incomplete stories. Since Redington has only been given a lush spring, another story to come, I’m going to piece together some memories.