Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Our family took a winter walk along the Big Laurel Creek near Hot Springs, North Carolina. We encountered a frozen waterfall suspended in mid-air with elegantly curved icicles. Nature never ceases to amaze me. It is here where I most often experienced a profound sense of wonder, beauty, and peace. We musn't forget how deeply rooted we are with the wild world. We share much of the same ancestry- literally the evolutionary unfolding of the universe. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Mohammad, and countless other spiritual masters found their truths only after abandoning their cultures, seeking refuge in Nature, and then returning enlightened. I wonder for a moment how Nature influences my own process of awakening.
I notice the moving flow of the river, the yellow moss upon a decaying trunk, and the antics of a frenzied squirrel, The river was particularly swift today as warmer temperatures melt away the snow of a recent storm. The river's unusually high volume energizes us and we delight in its countless waves, holes, swirls, and edies created by the forceful currents. I do my best to be present and not to get lost, at least for too long, in my thoughts. I want to commune with Nature. I want to see, touch, smell, hear, and feel Nature. The small world of bugs, acorns, and pebbles capture my attention. My children are quite adept at seeing the small world and often excitedly call to me to show me their discoveries. I remember for a moment that I too am Nature and my Mind doesn't know what to do with this truth. The clouds part mid-way on our hike and we are treated to a shower of sunshine and a blue sky. We welcome the warmth upon our chilly faces as we begin our journey, upstream, back to our car and off to Hot Springs to soak in a hot tub along the French Broad River. I am thankful to be alive.