Consecutive Days Riding: 44 Consecutive Days Blogging: 45
Today’s Mileage: 11 Total Trip Mileage: 376
As I start my ride today I am reminded of Carl Jung’s teaching on synchronicity, the idea that nothing just happens by chance. There is always a message or purpose for every encounter with another person or even an inanimate object on our path.
Yesterday I spent considerable time perusing through websites looking for nature and pilgrimage site photos to accompany my daily words. I came across a photo that quickly drew me in. It’s a picture of a women floating on the surface of the water, in a calm inlet, eyes closed, lost in a peaceful state.
Memories catapulted me back to a time when I myself floated on a still lagoon of a coral island, beneath swaying coconut trees in the center of the Indian Ocean. The low hum of the distant surf against the coral reef, the hot equatorial sun and the slow rocking motion of the unseen waves lulled me into a deep, peaceful state. I experienced a sense of abandonment, of release as all of my worldly concerns were washed away. I became one within myself; became one with the sea and the whole web of existence. Of all the photos I viewed in my search: this photo moved me the most, as I long to drift away again in refreshing and renewing waters.
As I prepared to get on the bike today I grabbed a magazine from a box of unpacked books, remnants of my recent move. I made no effort to choose any particular copy; it was Spirituality & Health, August 2003, subtitled: The Soul/Body Connection. I flipped it open to an article entitled Spiritual Bathing. The authors Nadine Epstein and Rosita Arvigo opened the piece with the following statement:
“We know that it feels wonderful to soak in a warm bath or swim in the sea; that it is blissful to meditate upon the sounds of river water rushing over rocks; or the sight of sunlit drops bursting from a waterfall is magnificent. But how often do we think of these experiences as spiritual? Yet in ancient times, the spiritual essence of water evoked a sense of wonder, reminding people that they were threads in the divine web of life. Foremost in the great creation myths and traditions of nearly every culture is the recognition that water gave birth to humankind. It was seen as a divine, life-giving, healing, cleansing, renewing force.”
Pedaling towards Marcos Island with its white sandy beaches, along a channel of still reflective water, it does not seem like a chance occurrence that I picked up this magazine. Nor was it by chance that I found that particular beach photo. The image brings back profoundly pleasant memories of the spiritual effects and sacredness of water.
Surrounded by the sky, the foliage and wildlife of the Everglades and Big Cypress Preserve, let’s not forget the voice and message of the ever present water. I leave you today with a musing I wrote a number of years ago while sitting along a slow moving local river.
Why must, why not
How difficult it is for man to just sit still, to listen to the voices of nature, to be in the “here-and-now.”
We have been taught to live in the future: to look forward, to plan, to strategize, to plot, to prioritize, to reach goals, to push on , to conquer.
If not looking ahead, we often replay memoires of earlier times: of childhood friends, of lost loves, of squandered opportunities, of missed chances, of past glories.
Why must we be like rocks that resist the flow of the river, that try to divert it, or capture it in pools? Rocks that are eventually systematically worn down.
Why not be like the river: moving forward, at times rushing, at times barely creeping along, and flowing around, over or through obstacles. Water that gives life to all who reach out, extending a mouth or root.
When we dwell too much on the future, or spend too long reliving the past, we are like the river rocks. When we open ourselves to experience, when we live in the “here-and-now” we are like the river.
As a river we move forward, we foster growth in others, and ultimately we add our essence to the majestic clouds, to be returned to the earth and become part of other streams and rivers.
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Have a wonderful day, tomorrow we hit the beach at Marco island!