The Netherlands experienced a very strong autumn storm yesterday with gale force winds of up to 11. Much damage has been left in its wake, people lost their lives, their homes, their property. Those traveling lost time since boats, planes and trains couldn’t make their scheduled runs. If you were by car, chances were you lost time too because of slow speeds and accidents on the road. A man on his bike nearly lost his life when a tree fell on his path but he ended up in between its branches. Not so for a woman who was walking by a canal in the city center, her tree was her fate.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I could watch nature’s force in the comfort of my home. While working yesterday, I heard and saw the roof blew off from this industrial building across the canal.
And here we are now, the morning after. The wind is gentle, barely ruffling those leaves left on the trees which made it through the storm. The birds, who were in distress yesterday as they hid in bushes or sheltered under eaves, are back playing on this tree top outside my window.
Maybe it is not for me to ask why, why am I here? But to just be thankful that I have this day.
“Shall we meditate?” was what I said to hubby when I saw this bench in the woods last weekend. Not wanting to feel the questioning looks of passersby, I suggested to face the woods instead of the path.
The forest doesn’t question. It accepts my presence and what I do. It watches without judgment, just like it does for every living thing in it. It breathes in what I breathe out and I breathe in what it breathes out. The rustle of the leaves echo my thoughts which I release. Or does the act of releasing cause the rustling? I’m part of this forest, that’s what it’s telling me. The boundaries are all in my mind.
The timer went off. We stood up and moved on.
But the lesson remains.
I love entering an empty church and seeing the candles flickering in the darkness. I love the hush, the whispers, the scent of flowers, the silence of statues. Sitting there for a while, I can listen to my thoughts in peace and when the mind is still, that is when I hear the longings inside me, those dark secrets that wish to show themselves, to come out into the light and be born…through me.
“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?”
Let’s see, what are my options? I need many quiet moments now to ponder what next year could bring. I smell change in the air. A door is closing? A door is opening? Both would need energy. Is a new path in my adventure about to show itself, or am I now treading it?
Heart, speak to me.
Wings, take me there when the time comes.
As I walked to the zendo last night, I saw this on the canal. Amsterdam, you really outdo yourself all the time.
Talking to the heavens while embraced by the earth, a man and his dog were catching the last rays of the day yesterday at the park. I’m going to do this one of these days, sans the dog.
Yesterday was a red-letter day. After struggling with the selling of handmade birdhouses which I use as a fundraiser for a cause close to my heart, that of building decent homes for poor families, I sold all of them (nearly a thousand) to a single buyer yesterday. So today is a fresh start. Tingles and tickles are racing through my blood, giving birth to giddy thoughts of what’s next. I’ve got ideas, they come pouring in from all around me. The trees rustle and tell me their secret thoughts, the wind comes by and whispers in my ear, the sun kisses my skin and surreptitiously, deliciously shares its wisdom.
I stand in awe at this gift from above, and bow my head with humility, gratitude and wonder for this divine grace. And soon, very soon, I will make tangible those secrets that have been shared with me. I can’t wait.