Yesterday’s immersion in Nature was whispering the balance between letting come and letting go; that our walk through life is about finding the middle of the road. The stream with ice to the left and open water to the right was communicating the flow of opposites in life. Water freezes, water thaws and the stream may rise or dry depending on rain or drought. The ebb and flow of this stream holds another truth to be found. That one can choose to see the ice and feel the cold that made it that way. Or one can choose to see that the ice is unable to keep flowing water at bay.
Today’s immersion in Nature whispered look beyond what is initially seen. In the chill morning it whispered let peace enter, let us see all of humanity. The snow glistening like jewels, white sparkles, diamond-like. The sun highlighting the fresh white blanket that had come in the night. Like a red carpet rolled out for movie stars this white runner stretched ahead of me. To see the travelers that had come before me, my opportunity.
Footprints that whispered store up and others that whispered about masks and dexterity. There were even travelers that had walked before us all whispering abundant blessings. Of course, there were the reminders of gentleness and compassion, too. These footprints daily, even before the snow anew. I anticipate a set of the tracks could have been a reminder that tricksters walk in our midst. Ah, but not all tricksters are negative, some messengers that there is more than this.
I thought about one of my classes recently, and the topics we were reading about the holocaust and apartheid. How devastation of hope, faith, and physical life took place. How in a moment’s flash, a family would no longer see a loved one’s face. I thought about families separated at a gate, some to a fenced in yard and others to another fate. I thought about people behind a locked door unable to leave, wondering if or when someone else would decide their time for eternal sleep. I thought about families in Africa who knew fear the same; who were also persecuted for being a certain race. I thought about those who strived to flee for safety; how they, too, were stopped by hate before they could leave.
And then I thought about Nature, and its many circles of life. How a four-legged or two-winged creature means survival for another’s plight. We may watch a documentary of a cheetah chasing a zebra or an eagle that sweeps the fish from the sea. We may not relish the sight, but we still hold it sacredly. We have a reverence of Nature because it holds a secret key. An unspoken respect and a unified understanding. Each grass, tree, animal, and water too. All know that alone they are nothing, together there is much they can do. I remember watching a documentary on how the wolves changed the river in Yellowstone Park. Each and every aspect of Nature came together to do their part.
As I paused my bike ride to stand silently in Nature listening to what her wisdom had to say, all that I could hear was it is more than guns and school shootings that are at play. Yes, it is profoundly sad and tragic, and my heart goes out to yet additional families who now journey with the most immense grief. Yet, I expand my thoughts to see that the United States is not unique. Maybe we don’t have it the same; the ever-increasing reality people killing people using guns in places meant to be safe. Not so different me from you across the seven continents in which we all belong as one humanity. Families are unnecessarily knowing what it means to lose someone they love as fear holds the world so very hostilely.
Recently people were posting and then paying forward an urging; for seven days share seven black and white photos of beauty. No words required, let the pictures speak for themselves in what they convey; in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder’s heart, the picture to communicate what it needs to say. Awe, breathtaking, peace, not easily describable the invoked feelings. But common through them all, heart to heart speaking. The person who posted had a heart that whispered yes, this one is it! And the beholder heard with their heart as they responded Oh, just look at this! If seven pictures in seven days without color can have a unifying effect, why can’t we find a way person to person to humanely connect?
A loss of control invoking anger, a fear what if that happened to me; powerlessness, helpless, struggling to forgive the pain now extreme. These the feelings that veil our capacity to remain one as humanity. Like the stream, life will bring joy and life will bring unspeakable sorrow too. Our choice is to put ice around our heart, or keep the water open to let hope and love flow through. We can lash out at what we believe is robbing us of our safety, our hope, and those we hold most dear. Or we can stop and look squarely in front of us into the mirror.
Are we making it matter that hearts are breaking apart or stopping in their heart beats by the actions we take? Are we fueling the fire of compassion or are we igniting the flames to burn it away? Are we using our energy of clamoring for answers to enable us to build up walls? A wall of judgment, the wall of no longer listening, the wall of a closed off heart most of all? What if we redirected the energy into building not a Trojan horse but a ladder for others to climb? I ponder, as I stand in this stillness of Nature,
What would we start to find?