I feel differently when I am outside. I think differently. I see differently. I hear differently. I smell things differently. I feel the air around me differently.
I change. I slow down. Calm down. I shed wants and unknown fears.
Our part of NYS was in a pretty bad drought last year. There was briefly talk of having to truck water in to our community.
About 20 minutes from my home is a narrow, 215 foot waterfall. Not tall by some standards, but still beautiful. During the drought, the water stopped. The waterfall had become just a cliff. The thundering water was silenced. The mist vanished.
This spring we have had rain. And rain. We are now in a flood warning. Our lake is high, yards and homes are flooded.
Easter morning we walked the gentle trail to our waterfall, Taughannock Falls. The water was flowing.
The mist purified and baptized me in a way no organized dogma could. The thunder of the raging water muffled noises in my head of worry, fear, doubt. I could smell the scent of the earth, damp, decaying and, also, alive. I focused on the force and power of the milky water launching off the side of rock cliff that was too old to comprehend. Somewhere in those rocks and cliffs are fossils of life from ancient sea beds.
The Waterfall at Lu-Shan
Sunlight streams on river stones.
From high above, the river steadily plunges–
three thousand feet of sparkling water–
the milky way pouring down from heaven.
Surely our little waterfall is a tiny bit of the milky way pouring down from heaven. Heaven reaching down towards Earth. A reminder of things inter-connected. A reminder to seek beauty and tread lightly. A reminder to look up in wonder and awe at the stars in the universe. A reminder to look all around this biosphere called Earth with humility and and respect, gentleness and stewardship. A reminder to live in moderation and care, balance and understanding. A reminder to pause in gratitude and appreciation for our Mother Earth and all the life she supports.
**It’s spring!! That means Earth Day, marches and standing up to protect the only home we have: Earth. Here are some readings to ponder This Week