The town I grew up in has a large park which borders a river. I have many fond memories associated with this place, and when life gets too challenging, I return to the park to renew myself.
After my second marriage ended, I took to walking the park daily.
“Are you finding your inner peace?” my then ten-year-old son asked me one day.
“Something like that,” I responded. “Would you like to join me?”
He said he would.
I had a ritual that I followed on those walks. I would start at the base of a big old tree, whose trunk leaned out over the water. Under the umbrella of green-leafed branches, I would say a prayer to the seven directions, each day asking for healing and insight to guide me. John joined in with me. Then we walked, mindfully aware of nature around us. We kept conversation to a minimum, honouring the sacredness of the moment.
Half way around the park, we stopped to sit on a park bench facing the water. Here, I guided to John to breathe consciously, releasing any tension. Directing him to expand his awareness, I suggested that if he could let go of his own boundaries, he could feel at one with nature.
“What does that mean, Mom?” he asked.
“Let yourself feel that we are a part of everything. Let the breeze flow through you. When the birds sing, feel it vibrate within you.”
He fell silent. Then, “Mom, if people did this all the time, we wouldn’t need anger.”
“It certainly helps to manage it; it’s true.”
We walked a little further, John lost in thought.
“I don’t know how to say this,” he began. “But do you know how people say you have to see it to believe it?”
“What if it’s the other way around?”
“What do you mean?”
“What if the truth is that you have to believe it before you see it?”
“Do you think that is the truth?”
“Yes, I do. I think there is a lot out there to discover, but most people can’t see it because they don’t believe.”
“I think you are probably right about that.”
My son, the philosopher.
(Image from: misshauntedmoonlight.blogspot.com)