I walked through the woods today. A place I walk regularly. A place where I ground, feel, connect and let go. A place that is at once ordinary and exquisite. A place I love.
But today, I walked differently through these same woods. Today this path felt different.
I found the remnant of an old stone gateway, long overgrown and forgotten, that I somehow had never really noticed before. As I passed through, time shifted. My footsteps lingered. I walked as if in slow motion, moving with my breath like an ancient giant being. Careful, oh so careful, of every pitch forward.
The world looked transformed from this place. The colors, brighter. The sounds, clearer. The wind, cooler. I walked and walked and walked, at a snails pace, to a pond I love dearly. Here I lingered, for a long time, gazing at the reflections. The upside down world greeted me, waved at me, called me, laughed at me, beckoned me.
What is a reflection, I wondered? What is this mirror of the world I am looking into? What secrets does it reveal? What messages does it have? Breathing deeply, I moved on. Continuing my journey through the woods. Along the way, I found the stub, the knee, of a tree root, closely resembling a spiral. I bent down to examine it. It spiraled inward clockwise, like a lid sealing a jar tightly closed. What secrets is it hiding, I asked?
I looked up, and something called me to leave the comfort of the path I was on and just to go up. Straight up the incline, the steep hill before me. So I climbed, until I reached the top, turning around to gaze down upon the path I was just on. But then I noticed another tree root. Its shape and form remarkable resembling Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. I bent down again, offered my prayers, placed my hands on the earth and was suddenly pulled in. My being traveled into the earth and through the roots of this Oak tree I was under. Down and down I followed the roots and then I gazed up at the Tree taking in its full height, understanding that for as far up as it reached, it also reached down into the earth.
And here I was, standing on this earth, on this physical ground that marked the midpoint between its tallest visible point and its lowest invisible point. Holding the space of the middle, the balance, the clear place.
I turned again to face the descending landscape before me. This time, I saw not a forrest of trees, but the reflection of their beings, their roots, dug deep into the earth. I recognized that what we see from our perspective is only half the truth. And the woods before me became alive as never before. As I slowly, even more slowly, walked back to my path, I felt my own imprint, the vibration of each and every footstep, echoing below and into the earth as I walked above it. As I passed the grove of Cypress trees, I found another root, distinctly in the shape of a Buddha. He seemed to be waving at me. “Goodbye! Come Again! Remember!” he whispered.
These reflections, they are invisible, but they are everywhere. We only see half the truth at any one time. But if we open our eyes to the wonder of it all, we might get a glimpse of the true nature or this world, our lives, our selves and our impact.
This is living in fullness. Eyes Wide Open.