“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” – A.A. Milne in Winnie The Pooh
I think that far too often we believe that information is the only thing to be known in life. Very often we lose the ability to see life as it is, rather than how we describe it. We put so much value on words that we forget that we don’t need to assign words to everything that we know.
I know the feeling of standing on a mountaintop in the spring with a north wind blowing against and around me. I can’t put that feeling into words, nor should I have to. I know at those times something much more important than the names of the trees and rocks that are around me, even if I can’t describe it. Knowing it is enough, if I let it be. It’s when I try to find words to express what I know that I feel the frustration of not being able to describe something.
This world gives us messages all the time. It lets us know what’s important, and what’s not. We spend much of our time, though, either ignoring the messages or explaining them away through rationalization. People with ulcers often change nothing in their lives, even though their own bodies are trying to teach them an important lesson.
Life flows, and it goes on and on. Two hundred years from now, most of the things that are so important to us right now will be completely forgotten to history, but the streams will still be flowing, and the mountains still will be standing. The storms and the sunshine will still take their turns everywhere, and life will go on. I’d rather put my time and effort into something that will contribute to the future, such as encouraging a young person–who just might pass that encouragement on–than spending a lot of time and energy trying to buy the new large-screen TV.
Listen to the rivers–they have much to teach.
Questions to consider:
Do you see life as a “flow,” or as a series of moments stopped in time?
What kinds of things could you contribute that still will make a difference in the world ten years from now? Fifty? Two hundred?
Why and how do we lose the awareness of the ways that life flows?
For further thought:
“If I were to begin life again, I should want it as it was. I would only open my eyes a little more.” – Jules Renard