Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sandstone Overlook, New Mexico
Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or a mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own existence back to you.”       Eckhart Tolle

            What the renowned Mr. Tolle is talking about is much more than a label for an orange…he is talking about seeing something broader, the acceptance of something for what it is and not based on how we label it. Is a name a label? Of course, and if one stays with just the name, it is a barrier, and a poor sharing of nature. Yes, we must reach beyond the name. 
            When I look at his specific example, however, I admit gain more pleasure knowing the name of the bird or the stone, and thrill to what it is doing in being itself, how its life is being expressed…and the fitting within of the huge pattern of life that we cannot see just looking at it in the moment without knowledge. Awe, indeed! But then, I have an intense relationship with nature.  It doesn’t hurt my recognition of its essence to identify that beautiful song as being the spring song of the chickadee, or listen to the fish slurping their evening meal. I see more, not less, of their spirit this way.  Is the condor below any less majestic because he is #73, one of a very few California Condors gaining a foothold in the Grand Canyon area, reintroduced there by man? No, one afternoon a friend and I saw sixteen of these marvelous birds wheeling through the skies above and below us on the old bridge at Lee's Ferry. We were awestruck by their majesty, their splendor, and the recognition of what a special occasion it was to see so many of these endangered condors in a single hour.

Condor #73

            A similar phenomenon occurs at Hawley, my favorite lake, when confronted with not just that profound earth feeling of the lake, the water, the skies, the land….but also with the implacability of it, which is very powerful. The land is eternal, uncaring, changing with its own rhythm, even as it thrills us with its beauty and stillness. We are but part of it. In that sense, it really does reflect my own existence back at me, and I am grateful to share it.
            And it all brings wonder, peace, and a communion with God on the most primitive level, the pattern that connects everything, the pattern that is woven through us, in us, as us. The pattern that is God expressed.

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