I sit on the front porch,…
….its warm even though its raining, there is mist on Big Hill and swirling dark clouds are coming in. Its one of those rainy days where you are grateful that it is too wet to do much and instead you have ‘permission’ to bake scones, read a book and drink cups of tea. I love these days. Right now I feel the most relaxed I have felt for months, since the last time I was here on this couch on the front porch of my friend’s house in in Mt Beauty. There are no anxious butterflies in my stomach, no deadlines to meet, no requirements to sit in a windowless office staring at a screen dreaming of things I’d rather be doing. Here on the porch with my ugg boots on; with the rain and the birds and the grey clouds and the warm air; I feel content, I have enough. Won’t it be great when everyone has enough?!
Nature calls and as I sit, I notice a spider on the tile floor. It makes a few futile attempts to climb the shiny white porcelain in the hope that the under edge of the toilet seat will be a suitable refuge, a comfortable place to call home. As it repeatedly slips back to the ground I think about our own attempts to climb up in a manufactured landscape to get somewhere that when /if we reach it, it is often not that fulfilling. Should the spider find its way to the underside of the toilet seat it will live out a life overshadowed by the huge ass of some thing that thinks it is more important, it is very likely to be squashed. If only the spider could find its way back to where it can flourish but how can it get there now from this place on the shiny tile floor? It could be transported there on the bottom of my shoe, a shadow of its former self or I could show it respect, kindness and worth by physically picking it up and taking it outside or it could set its sites on the gap in the fly screen covering the open window. This different direction may still be hard to reach if it just continues trying to climb up shiny structures but maybe there is a structure that is actually helpful. A long hanging piece of toilet paper combined with a cord from the blind, these manufactured structures might be the bridge to freedom and contentment for this seemingly stranded spider.
Back on the couch….aagghh… WHAT WAS THAT?!
All of a sudden the soft seat does not feel deep enough to get out of the way of a very fast moving and close object. My eyes follow the direction it was going and I see there are two culprits, a Butcher Bird chasing a Wattle Bird. I think to myself that people are not that much different from this, fighting each other for territory. It is not unlike this pecking order battle that almost resulted in my head being taken out by these two birds only at least they are fighting out of a sense of connection people on the other hand are fighting out of a sense of disconnection.
How do we humans find ways to feel a sense of place within our own community, our self and within the context of the natural world without killing off these same things through that effort? I remember something the Dalai Lama wrote and it is along the lines that ‘the best contribution you can make to the world is to work on your own happiness’, I understand that more deeply now. I have met with the resistance that comes from trying, reaching and grasping too hard for what you think will make a better world. I think we all have. The paradox is that to create movement you have to stop trying to achieve it; you need to relax, let go, be happy and follow your heart not your head.
Perhaps this is the trajectory humans are on now,…
….perhaps these hard times are necessary for us to emerge as people with a deeper sense of appreciation for life, our own and those in relationship to ours. Perhaps we need to set our sites on different questions and quests and use different structures and bridges within our society and culture that are more conducive to a flourishing place. Perhaps then we can regain a sense of control over our future.
What I do know is that in my better world it will be more like this moment on the porch with the rain and the birds and the warm air and the contentment. I wish I had a magic wand to help me recognise that moment…the moment exactly like this one……when it finally comes……pardon?…did you say something about plain sight?!