It’s the eve of my birthday. A good day to think about the 37 years I’ve spent on the planet and evaluate successes and failures. It’s interesting. I do this every year and the memories themselves don’t change but my perspective certainly does. What I had deep regrets about 10 or 11 years ago, barely touches me today. What I used to regard as huge mistakes, now just looks like so much water flowing away under the proverbial bridge.
And the successes? They now look like stepping-stones lined up into the mist. I know there is a destination but I can’t see it. Not yet.
And really what is the point of trying to see it? We do waste a lot of time preoccupied with past and future. The moment – the only moment – that counts is now.
Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die
This haiku from Basho is so beautiful to me. All about the now, the moment.
There are many good things and bad things about this moment and the real struggle is to accept things as they are. This always leads me to a dilemma about whether or not this means that evil should just be allowed. I don’t think so, though. The flow of evil is like water flowing down a mountain. The water will always flow to the bottom, and eventually back to the ocean. Evil will always flow toward good. This is its natural progression. Of course, just as from the sea spring the clouds that will carry rain to the top of the mountain to make more water, from the light springs the shadow that will carry evil to dark places.
It is good to accept that. And finally I realize that it is good to understand where you are in that cycle. If you are working at strengthening the light, then it falls to you to decide what to do with shadow when it enters your moment. The next moment is yours and your actions pave your road like so many uneven stones somehow set smoothly so that feet do not falter.
I find that I no longer ask questions about good and evil, bad people and good ones, that I used to ask a dozen years ago. I’ve accepted that this world is a world of duality. A world that needs two sides for reality to be “real.” I even understand it, although only a very little. The question I find myself asking now is, “What is my part? How am I to contribute? How can I shine the light that I know is in my brother’s eye?” And of course, the answer lies not in the brother or sister, but in myself. The ultimate answer, I guess, is to find my light at its source and be that.
See? My moment with you has brought me a small piece of enlightenment. And in the paradox that is enlightenment, that is really the whole thing.
To all of you who have entered my life and made it the strong, beautiful domain it is today, thank you. I could not walk this beaten path without you by my side. I have learned from each of you. From my parents, my brother, my son. From my friends and loves old and new. Each of you has given of your light that I might find my way back home to my own.
Thank you and be blessed.