I wrote these words earlier today while I was sitting alone on top of rock in the middle of a stream listening to crystal clean water flow down the mountain in a rainforest, El Yunque.
I wanted to go for a hike today, but detours kept rerouting me (like Outlet malls). And then, finally, I get to the rainforest and decided to take a different trail than I normally do. It turns out this new trail only goes a few yards until it hits a stream. So much for my hike. But just as well, because it’s so peaceful here with no other people, no tourists but me. So here I sit.
I just took off my tennis shoes and dipped my feet in the cool water. Felt so good! This is my home now. I no longer have access to the home I grew up in and I guess it makes me feel a little lost now and then. But nowhere else in the world feels more like home to me than sitting by a creek in the forest.
My mom consoles me with “your home is where your people are”. But, for me, that’s not all of it. Home for me is that creek in the shadows of the trees where the sunlight streams, the earth beneath, rocks under bare feet, filling me with peace and good energy. This is how I grew up: alone, in the woods by the creek.
Today is a somber day. Not just for me, but for Americans, the world. Yesterday a madman went to an elementary school in Connecticut and murdered 20 little kids, 6 adults, his mother, and himself. What is wrong with people? I burst into tears late last night and couldn’t stop crying. What is wrong with this world?
I saw the most beautiful rainbow yesterday floating above the ocean. And when I see a rainbow I think of what, when I was a little girl, I was told was God’s promise – that everything is going to be OK. It may rain and things may seem hopeless, but never forget that there is beauty in this world. That there is something greater than ourselves, though it may be nothing more than pure natural beauty. I know that’s no condolence to the families affected right now, and I hope they can find solace somehow, someday, if that’s at all possible.
I don’t know what good to make of this horrific disaster, except to hope that it instills a fear in us all that motivates us into action, some positive movement, whatever that may be for each of us. And by “us” I mean everyone not directly affected, those of us who are watching our tv sets in horror and reading the details in the news, and talking to our family and friends about it, trying to make sense of why something like this would ever happen to begin with. I can’t imagine how the families affected will ever be able to make good of any of this.
When horrible things like this happen, and they have too often recently, we tend to ask ourselves, What is wrong with this world? Isn’t there something more to life than working our whole lives to buy shit we don’t need — toys, cars, clothes, jewelry? How much is enough?? Let’s turn our attention to EACH OTHER and the natural beauty of this planet. There’s so much we could do and we could be appreciated in so many ways if we just let go of our fears and our ego and reached out to people more often. Just once a day. If we just took a moment to be GRATEFUL, to appreciate the air we breath and the water we drink and the people that matter to us.
But there isn’t anything wrong with the world. The world is in a perfect condition in its current state. I know what you’re thinking, that I must be crazy. A perfect world is extremely hard for me to believe that at times like these. But I have to believe that. The world is a work in progress; it is not complete. But it is perfect right now because it’s moving toward that perfect state. I have to believe that because when I look around in nature, it’s so evident. Nature makes sense and it’s always evolving. We are always moving forward. We are always progressing, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. And I don’t believe the world is going to end in 5 days or whatever the Mayan calendar says. And I’m not so arrogant to believe our days are nearing the end and Jesus is going to come and we’ll all fly off to heaven. The world will be here for a long time to come and by not believing that we are making excuses to not do our duties here on earth as we were meant to. To not take care of the planet. To not pay more attention to our friends and our neighbors. To not spend more time with our children. To not think of something outside of ourselves. I believe this world will reach a perfect state someday. I don’t believe we are destroying it. Rather, we have the power to SAVE it, to keep it moving toward that perfect state.
A friend of mine posted these words on Facebook and they make so much practical sense:
Lots of love and compassion sent to the victims, staff, families of staff and students, to the community of of Sandy Hook, and to everyone in the world as we are all deeply effected. A seed (thoughts, words, actions) of love grows love, a seed (thoughts, words, actions) of hate grows hate. Now is the time to do something, let’s all plant seeds of love. Let’s think, say and do loving kind things to ourselves and to others. One thought, one word, one action of love goes a long way and deeply effects us, others and the world. Let’s take this moment and every moment of our lives to plant seeds of love.
This tragedy, for me, put some things into perspective — like what’s really important. And what’s really important is that I can feel peace enough to be able to offer it’s positive energy to others. For me, I find peace in nature, at that creek in the woods, hiking up mountains, swimming with the fish in the sea. I find peace when I am doing something helpful for someone else. I find peace while I’m writing down words and sorting out my thoughts. Where do you find peace?