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There was a request by one of our compass-holders to hear the bubbling brook on the property again. Before I walk down to the brook, I’d like to invite you share a place that is meaningful to you, a place that invites your soul to awaken to the fragile strength and tenderness of this earth. Because we have compass-holders in different countries, it would be lovely to share beauties of our various nooks in the world to expand our view so our compasses burn even brighter.
If you are happy to share, leave a comment below.
Let’s go to the brook now. I’ll take my camera, along with my journal, and see what the winged-spirits of spring will offer today.
Here I am surrounded by the forest, my toes aching to touch the frigid spring waters. Little pops of purple and white flowers dot the ground, and under the canopy of the trees are magic patches of bright green moss. If you slow your breath and pause, you can see that the moss is clusters of thousands of tiny star shapes, and brushing your hand along the top, you are met with a plushness that invites a softening of your spirit.
After months of barren beauty, the forest is awakening. Tender grasses wiggle up from the rain drenched soil and tiny, fresh leaves of nearly fluorescent greens and yellows smile as they burst from every branch and twig on every tree.
I’m not alone. Oh no. The land is buzzing with creatures. The little three-toed turkey prints show their march up the steep canyon, marking a path that veers around boulders, a path I used to make my way down to the brook. And because it rained, the deer hooves that sank in the mud near the water’s edge tell me they were here not long ago. I wonder if they watch me now. Whistles of eager songbirds guide my eyes upward. I peer through the smiles and quivers of those newly born leaves to see a cobalt blue sky with three great vultures circling and riding the currents with so much grace and contained power.
Though my childhood is decades past, I can feel the tug of my mother’s fear, a protective fear of the copperhead and cottonmouth snakes that take life with one bite. Are they emerging with the warming of the land? Do they feel my heat near and stay away, or are they curled up half-asleep not ready to slither into the world of moment- to-moment survival? Their lives bring to me an awareness of the fragility of life, of my life, of the lives of everyone I know and love. Such a realization that even the most poisonous creatures are vulnerable, ushers an awareness of the impermanence of all life to merge with the tender fresh burst of spring. It squeezes my heart and I fall in love more with the forest, knowing it and I and all the creatures will someday no more be.
Yet, deep in the heart-knowing there is the sense all is eternal. This moment will never die. It cannot, as it is not graspable. It has no solid place. In a space beyond conceptions, I and the forest will never not be. You will never not be. For as both the Buddha and Einstein said, time, as we experience it, is an illusion.
How to hold the passing of human time in our hands and be brave enough to open our awareness to taste the eternal—this is the noble work of a human being. This is what births compassion in our minds that goes beyond time and space—a compassion that is vast and unbounded, much like the wide open cobalt blue sky of spring.
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