I haven't spent much time outdoors recently, but I was asked to do a meditation. Here's a welcome for spring...
I am enjoying a moment of solitude with the sparrows, the chipmunks, the tall canopy of oak and elm, the understory of burgeoning leaves. Alone, perhaps, but not lonely. I have all this woodland with which I can keep company, and I am content to remain in it for a while. There is a calm greatness in this place, not far from the doings of my fellow man, but far enough so that the sounds I hear are no longer noise, the pulse I feel is no longer electric, but my own. The wind is wind rather than a whirring displacement of air – I hear no cars, no sirens, not even an air horn. Instead, a mighty breath of wind rustles the remnants of last autumn in the direction of the lake. I have at least another hour before I need to head home, so I walk on and take a seat by the water.
Now I am skipping stones and watching as the circular ripples leave their brief mark on the surface. The ripples widen and join the larger patterns made by the wind. I feel as if the concerns from earlier in the day are being lifted from a repressed, silent place inside me, that the angers and frustrations are being washed; transformed into a genuine presence, mine, here and now. Here, I am being made whole. The ancient mystery of the world is being revealed, slowly, moment by moment. I will carry some sorrow and bitterness with me all my days, but I can let them go in this solitude. I see it happening. That broken place in me, always aching to be fixed, is fascinated by the diaphanous layers of water.
I am not sure if the fish I see are smallmouth bass, but they are as busy as the tadpoles, water striders, cattails – all playing their part in the lengthening warm days of the season. Between these layers of activity I see a thread woven by divine, maternal hands. I am so blessed. Overhead, geese are migrating in v-shaped patterns. How beautiful, and how brief. I need to head home in a little while, I think. I can’t stay here forever.
Before I go, though, maybe I should think what lesson I can carry away from this moment. I am trying really hard to learn something from this. Maybe now I understand my part in the living world as a dynamic process, that I need to participate naturally in the flow. But I don’t think that lesson will last long. Soon I will be thrashing about in my daily activities, bothered and confused about this and that. I think the best thing I can learn is that there are places I can go to renew my spirit, places like this. I will return when I am ready.