Sunday, April 5, 2020
The Wisdom of the Elements
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? I have, some time ago. Nothing could have prepared me for the absolute breath-taking view. You don’t realize how very tiny you are until you stand beside it, feel the ancient energy of it and imagine its creation. I don’t know exactly why, but I was remembering the Grand Canyon in a dream I had a few nights ago. I didn’t recall it for its aesthetic beauty and grandeur. I recalled it because of what my mind has been wrestling with forever, it seems.
The steadfast rock and Earth surrounds us, water flows within and around us. Great rivers erode the rock slowly over time and yet in some place and at some times, the work of the water flowing etches gently and cuts deeply into the Earth. If you think about it or truly realize it, as stunningly beautiful as the Grand Canyon is – remember, it was created by water flowing over rock and wind whipping through it over time. I think of us, mere mortals, our daily trials and tribulations and even the minor things we tend to get so upset about. To me, it’s all like water flowing over rocks and wind whipping through. We may be etched and cut into by the various elements of existence that flow around and through us in our experience but we are no less beautiful in the end than before our lives began.
We do so many things, we strive to achieve this or that, to acquire, to gather and hold things to us and that is a funny thing to me. Nothing remains forever just as it is. Life here is forever changing, merging, falling away - blowing away even. We fly, we crash, and we tumble and flow. Just like the wind, the water, just like the rocks we live upon. We can stand firm in the fullness of our being and let life flow within and around us. It doesn’t matter what we do, what we achieve, what we learn or acquire, the part of us that witnesses all of our life-experience, remains the same – unharmed and ever transformed. We live, we breathe and we die but there is that part of us that remains untouched like the day we were born, pure and pristine. It doesn’t matter what we go through and grow through because in the end, that pure and pristine part of us lives on.
The point of this is not that you should not acquire, grow or learn as you live and breathe in this life but rather that you should understand what remains and what changes. In a way, what remains and changes is the same. That is confusing in a way. Perhaps it is all about aspects and perspectives of what we choose, how we take in an experience or how it is we might use it? We ARE. No matter what we have or don’t, who supports us or won’t, how we live or die – no matter what, we still ARE. We are made neither greater nor lesser by what we do really. We still ARE. If we dress Class Act, or bare cozy and comfy, we still just ARE. I think that the more I live, the more I understand what nature is trying so hard to teach us.
These observations and thoughts didn’t come to me all at once. These thoughts didn’t occur to or comfort me as I acquired and gathered, or while I surrendered and lost. Whether I was climbing ladders, or admitting defeat, I still AM. There is a part of me that remains pure and pristine no matter what it is I mire myself in. It seems that what I do, is for my entertainment, because I feel moved to do this or that. It feels good sometimes to do this and that. It feels bad sometimes to do this or that. But when the feelings of whatever it is I am or was engaged in fade, I remain just as whole as I was. I still AM.
I go back to my memories of the Grand Canyon and take a slow and easy breath in and out. The water is not evil because it cut the walls of the canyon. The colorful rocks that have withstood the years and seasons are not weak because they stood still. No matter what the experience, they still ARE and yet they are beautifully transformed in a way by the experience but their essence and their power is not lost or made lesser by interaction with the elements. When I see the rocks now, I feel gratitude and deep appreciation for their existence. When I see the rain, water flowing – I feel grateful and a deep affinity for it’s existence. When the wind blows it carries aspects of rock and water and I’m grateful as the air I breathe carries the pure power of transformation. When I feel the heat of the sun, I am reminded of the gifts of transformation it too brings. These things can harm and support me but I am made neither greater nor lesser for my experience of them.
You, in your lives, living day in and day out, working and achieving or learning and growing – you are made no greater or lesser as a result of your experience. Even though you may be transformed willingly or unwillingly remember that there is an aspect of you that will remain pure and pristine as the day you were born. Live, laugh, play and love. Enjoy fully the richness of your experience here. Appreciate your surroundings, check in now and then to see if you find value in what you are learning. Strive if you feel moved to – to understand all of your amazing and magical teachers in this life. Everything matters. You too matter. Never mind how life has shaped you, cut through you or changed you. Your soul is still beautiful and filled with magic. You still ARE. Blessings of great love to you.
Copyright 2020, Jaie Hart (Photo NPS.org)