Homeward Unbound —Chapter 5: Deliberation with Nature

Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

Perhaps the greatest gift bestowed to each of us is our innocence. In a grief-stricken world driven by calamities and chaos of varying degrees, it is difficult to maintain the innocence of our youth. Where the world was once new, and the peculiar and weird were something of amazement. I am surprised to still carry some of this innocence and bewilderment, even if only an iota.

To see the world every day as new, untamed, and full of possibility is a beautiful thing.

I have promised the self a life of growth, that is it.

That with each new day, I have become a man who can, with all sincerity and honesty, make the bold statement, that I am a better man than yesterday. With this, I take great pride.

I used to be one, feeble as it may, think highly of others’ opinions as if my world mattered in the slightest when in the proximity to theirs.

The opinion of my former is the only formidable adversary in all the universe, because as Carl Sagan once said, “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

Comparison of any kind, other than yourself is futile, for your being has been enough.

Let me interject briefly as an interesting thought as confronted me. I am the narrator, and you are the listener. I profess my wisdom, original in nature, and you synthesize my words so they can fit your conscious to bring a type of clarity unique to you, but I respectfully ask, is this so?

Who is the speaker, the listener, the thoughts, the thinker of thoughts, and the listener of these thoughts? Are not all these versions of the self. Isn’t all knowledge that one attains, self-knowledge?

In an old Hindu tale, Krishna who plays an avatar of God steals kheer, an Indian dessert. His mother learns of this and scolds Krishna, who denies his wrongdoings. She tells him to open his mouth. In it, she finds the entire world.

We are close to about eight billion on this giant floating rock. Each with an experience, a window where each ushers an echelon of thoughts into its vessel in which through pursed lips dance with the breath to form language and ideas to give the day meaning.

Every filament of your life, and mine is unique and the information gathered during the short span of our existence builds character, and not before it is lost without remembering why.

We die a little each day, and while this credence is known by all, its faculties are expressed little for man has created a synthetic ecosystem where some are willingly imprisoned by four walls and a roof, unable to appreciate the night sky, the benevolent echos of the mountains, or the simple pleasure of a breath, when taken in with gratitude has the audaciousness to give nourishment akin to sustenance.

My wife’s ailment and our newfound nomadic life have selfishly become my freedom, my chance to step outside the bounds of conformity for a time, to discover, share and perhaps undertake a course on the conscious mind. Where the classes are staged in silence, with an occasional welcomed disturbance by a faint spring breeze, and the pitter-patter of the Southwest’s late summer monsoon baptism. Where the teachers are many, some Douglas Fir, some Ponderosa Pines, where the exams are taken amongst the Red Rock Canyons and untethered sky, to see if one can subdue the chattering mind, and discover something within oneself that can’t be taught, discovered or learned through anyone but the seeker himself.

We are the students and masters in making.

I have taken it upon myself to listen to past contemplatives and respectfully ridicule their words, so long as to remain honest to my spirit and take in all that is useful in hopes that the self prospers into a more refined one. Where virtue, honesty, and integrity are the badges to wear proudly, and that no one sees.

When in the company of others, my presence should be the only resume needed.

Be it poor, rich, literate, or otherwise — authenticity, graciousness, and most importantly, love are traits that are fast becoming absent in our world.

If one should exhibit them, even in small portions, it will be redolent in the hearts and minds of others, thereby bringing us closer to what some refer to as unity.

Distractions are many, still, it’s the child in me that finds benevolence in all, and in this way, I am shown the same in kind and oddly enough, even strangers become brethren in an instant.

It is my belief that by understanding ourselves, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

Words find me as my senses solicit the scenery before me and I am reminded of the words from Mr. Muir, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are dirt.” His sentiments bring about the truth of the nature of things, for the dirt that gave birth to the flora and fauna of all, shall soon enough usher us into her womb again, only to give birth to another, unlike you or me, but at the same time beautiful and reverent as this moment we share today.

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