What a sweet day….the sun did come out after all despite a cloudy beginning. I ran away from the lawnmower noise and hiked up to my favourite meditation spot with my camera, journal, pen and a remarkable little book called “The Way To Love” – The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello.
Just before getting to my destination I had to step over two small fallen trees on the path. When I stepped over the second one my pant leg got caught and I nearly fell. I freed myself and shifted my weight to step over the log again, but for the second time my pants hooked onto a broken off branch and I almost lost my balance. This made stop and wonder…. It reminded me of a hike 6 months earlier where I had fallen twice trying to find a shortcut to the same meditation spot. My shoulder is still healing from that fall, so this time I decided to pause. I looked around and saw that I was only a few yards from the very spot where I had fallen before. This made me wonder even more. I stood there for a long while looking closer at the trees, plants and rocks.
Once again I felt reminded to “be still”. Just a few weeks earlier the same message was delivered in a rather unusual way. I was driving a friend home after work in the evening, when we saw an unusual sight: a large beaver sitting on the pavement at the side of the road with its’ paw suspended in the air looking straight across to the other side. We sat for a few minutes looking at this completely still beaver sitting on the pavement in awe and puzzlement. We were starting to wonder if he was perhaps stuffed and someone had put him there. Just as I decided to turn off the car with the intention to get out to see if he was stuffed, the beaver ever so slowly put his paw down on the pavement and turned his head in slow motion and looked at us. Then just as slowly he took one step at a time and returned to the ditch behind him that was filled with water from the recent rain. It was a very unusual encounter which has stayed with me ever since…With this reminder I walked the rest of the way to the bluff very slowly keeping my focus on what was offering itself to me in the here and now.
On the bluff I moved around till I found the perfect spot in the shade with a beautiful view of the ocean, islands and mountains. As I sat there absorbing the beauty around me and slowly immersing myself in the wisdom of the little book I had brought with me, an interesting little visitor appeared. He or she settled on my hat and seemed quite comfy there and in no hurry to leave. Again the message of “Be still” was reflected by this little guy as he sat there for a long long time.
I enjoyed his quiet company and watched his antennas move as I read him a few lines from Anthony de Mello’s meditations where he talks about relationships and love and letting each other be free to be who we are and saying this to each other: “I leave you free to be yourself, to think your thoughts, to indulge your taste, follow your inclinations, behave in any way you decide is to your liking.” Speaking these words out loud on the bluff was very powerful, letting me look at how often I want this freedom for myself but do not always give it to the other.
When my new little friend finally did take off he went straight up in the air sounding a bit like cross between a bumblebee and a helicopter. Noticing my own discomfort from sitting on the hard rocky surface, I enjoyed stretching my body on this wonderful lookout before packing up my treasures and returning slowly home, noticing and taking in the beauty and wonder all around me.