After receiving a poetic contemplation between a mountain dweller and flower on ardency in the face of impermanence by Shabkar from beloved spiritual teacher and friend, Dori Langevin, I decided to go hiking.
I asked Mother Earth what dedication to Dharma practice might mean for me when change is inevitable. This is what she said:
Lazy summer days have ended.
The nights and mornings grow cold.
Like mood rings, leaves are changing
colors on fingered branches
waving before the final farewell.
Dry leaves and dirt echo each footfall,
footfalls of ancestors and generations to come.
What you hold can shatter and cut
like glass if grasped too tightly,
can tickle and tease like feathers floating
away before the distracted self can notice.
Soon rains will fall, winds will howl
announcing your place in the season.
Will you yearn for the summer sun
or gather around the heart’s hearth,
warmed by stories of resilience, sustenance,
and how to survive the long winter.
I’m committed to paying attention and offering what’s needed, not because I have to, but because I want to. The difference between 'have to' and 'want to' is the difference in perception between a finite or infinite supply of joy. What am I guarding? What do I have enough of?
At 44, roughly half of this landscape life had already been cultivated. Which seeds need to be nurtured? Which weeds need to be pulled and discarded as compost for new growth?
I’m content without having answers. With ardency, I only need to know what's needed now.
Like sculptures, our bodies are molded around the hourglass of time. We’re stuck in our ceramic selves, eyes fixated on grains of sand falling, and wonder why we can’t move, can’t get to where we want to be.
When we yearn for the summer sun, may we gather around the heart’s hearth, warmed by stories of resilience, sustenance, and how to survive the long winter.