creativity · nature · photography · poetry

Harmonic Convergence

Be as trees, reaching
canopy of harmony,
gratitude implied.

(For RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge:  gratitude / harmony.  Photo from personal collection.)

blogging · creativity · Humour · poetry · writing

Forgo the Mask

Discontentment –
that restless inability
to surrender to distraction –
not easily masked

Wired, I am, for intrigue –
a dramatic actor displaying
mystery, baiting an audience

Denial dons noise-cancelling
headphones, blinders –
invested in illusions

Harmony the end-goal –
no point disguising,
discontentment ignored.

(Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Challenge – mask, in 45 words, and Fandango’s –intrigue  -, and Ragtag Community’s – harmony .)

life · nonfiction · spirituality

Nature’s Divinity

Well before I was of an age to articulate it, I understood that there was something sacred about nature. An indescribable presence spoke to me and I, unscathed by the creeds of modern religion, learned to listen with reverence.

My appreciation for a Higher Being was stirred in the gardens of my birthplace. The vibrant colours of the many species of flowers and the busy, other world, of the insects that inhabited these gardens spoke to me of a whole world that was invisible to the ordinary eye. Life within life. I was captivated.

By the age of five, I began to wander beyond the garden gate, across the tilled fields of the farm that our home bordered, and into the woods beyond. There my true schooling began.

The woods were untamed – a tangle of old and new growth, thickly blocking any paths – and if I was careful enough to pick my way through, I came to a natural opening where a creek ran through. The water, like my soul, was clear and revealed every little secret.

For hours, I would squat and behold its wonders: tadpoles in the springtime, crayfish burrowing in the sand, and even the twigs that would be carried by the current, get stuck in the rocks and resist the flow of water until they were released again.

I discerned a certain pattern to the life I was witnessing: a sense of harmony and purpose.

Lucky enough to live in a country with four seasons, I absorbed the lessons of change, and learned to read the signs. The shifting wind, for instance, spoke of brooding weather, or the coming of spring after the winter’s slumber. I learned that life has cycles, and that after every winter comes the rains and new hope of brighter days.

Another of my favourite spots was deep within the woods, where the light beams trickled through the leaves like a cascade of fairy sparkles. Burrowing into the soft soil of the earth, I would sit quietly, patiently, until nature revealed herself to me. The woods, I discovered, much like the garden of my own backyard, housed a thriving population: insects, birds, animals, and reptiles – all whose existence seemed to rely on one another.

I wanted more than to be a part of it all – accepted, belonging: a child of Nature.

And then I lost my innocence.

I attended church, and learned that God lived in a church, and that I was not worthy of His love, and therefore; I needed to repent. I needed to repent because I was blemished by sin, and that felt dirty, and the earth that I so loved became undesirable, and bugs were icky, and nature was something wild to be feared.

I began to doubt my own understandings.

I learned to doubt me.

I lost confidence.

I no longer listened to the signs.

I learned to want for things, material things, anything, that would fill the void. Disconnected from the reverent, life felt out of control, something to be feared, not revered.

But nature has a way of reminding, even the most diehard non-believers, that there is more to life than we can see, and that a force, inexplicable, and sacred exists, and it came knocking on my windowpane tonight, with a message in the form of unseasonal gale winds and hail, and woke me from slumber.

And my soul answered, like the child I had once been, with a joyous recognition that despite all our theories, and doctrines, and delusions of educated knowledge, there still exists a life within a life: the Great Mystery that defies us and keeps us ever humble.

 

T

Uncategorized

Day 194 “Buddha Nature”

The bus I am riding on is actually a small house. The bus driver sits at the front door and collects fares. The front door opens into a dining room, where riders are playing cards. I move back further, into the adjacent sitting area. My friend Sandy is here and she has a young child; a girl. The girl remembers me although I am sure I have not seen her in ages. The bus stops, and panicked I rush to get off, only to discover this is not my stop, so I rush back on the bus. I feel frazzled, but laugh at my error and return to my seat trying to relax. Then I realize I am missing my purse. Thinking I’d left it at the last stop, I holler to the driver to go back, but then see that I’d left it on a table in the front hall. I pick it up and notice that it is lighter than it was. In fact, it is the purse, emptied of its contents. I am outraged, and accuse all the occupants of the bus. As it turns out, I know many of them, and I rifle through their belongings looking to recover mine. Worst of all, my passport was in the purse and losing that is a nightmare. I know the culprit is on board.

Coming to terms with the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is difficult, not unlike being robbed of one’s identification. In the dream, it is my passport I am worried about. My passport, in particular, is the only document that bears my full legal name. More importantly, it allows me to travel.

Replacing a passport is possible, but difficult. Metaphorically, I have lost my passport to come and go freely. Life now needs to be measured or paced, and I do not have credit to draw on. My purse has been emptied.

The bus that I travel on is me: the driver, the same robotic ego that takes me mindlessly through my daily route. The passengers are me also. Sandy is my over-analytical, uptight self, which is balanced by- or, perhaps (if I am more honest) protective of- my little girl innocence. The card players, and readers on board are me too. So is the thief.

Why is my bus a small house? My husband and I bought a small house over a year ago to retire in. We haven’t moved in yet, but it continues to be our promise for the future. Is this a premonition dream then? That the greatest struggle, or lost, will come when we move to our little house? Time alone will tell.

Derek Lin says that we each have a Buddha Self – an enlightened, loving self that lies at our inner core. As in the dream, I am struggling to find my bearings, conscious of the need to register my progress, and be on alert. I have long since moved away from a time when I trusted the process, and I am feeling disconnected from my Buddha Nature.

I can only hope that those who surround me don’t lose sight of it also. Reconnection will be my saving grace.