What I learned during a nature walk!

I had an opportunity for a peaceful walk on a bright sunny morning recently. As my walk continued I arrived at a location with a winding river with lush greenery everywhere. I continued my stroll along the banks of the river. Fortunately I had a camera with me to record several images. With each passing scenery my mind was racing through with thoughts that seemed to seek analogies of events in life that parallel the images from the nature.

The river was still and the surroundings serene. Most of the time life seems still and everything in its place, well balanced and hence serene. Yet, there is a change only moments later. Neither the flow of the river nor the journey of life ever stops or remains still.

Figure 0

The calm flow of river was interrupted by a sudden change in the terrain. There was a man-made dam to channel the water flow. The dam across the river covered only part of the flow. The rest had an uninterrupted flow down the ledge and along with that the turbulence it creates. The stark contrast between the still flow of the river in the background and its turbulence only moments later was so visual. It was right in front of your eyes, as if nature was telling us something.

Figure 1

Life that seems to be in a steady flow gets jolted once in a while. There are turbulences and perturbations. We are challenged. Just like the flow of the river these moments also shall pass. But to gain that confidence requires us to remember that events in life are also events of nature. Thath Thwam Asi – You and the universe are integral in each other.

The water caught at the corner of the ledge sees the most turbulence. The body of water knows no difference between the droplets in the middle of the river or that in the corner of the ledge. They just happen to be there. Yes, one can predict the flow of water and hence the flow patterns. Such analysis can merely explain what is already there.

Figure 2Many a times in life we can reflect and analyze why certain situations are the way they are. But it may be equally important to accept the reality as it is and do the right thing to move along, just as the river flows as a coherent stream or turbulent white water as the situation warrants. The flow of water continues and so does the journey of life.

The calm flow of water and the severe turbulent white waters are less common than a river which sees the combination of two. More frequently life seems to be a blend of smooth flow and challenges to be faced. The stillness of a totally calm river is experienced only by a few and for short periods of time.

Figure 4

When the stones and rocks are far below, the river flow seems to be smooth and calm. When the impediments are small and well below the surface, the journey of life seems to be smooth and well balanced.

I turned back. As my walk ended, I came to the place where I started. A flock of Geese were merrily swimming in the still water. Were they aware of the steep fall ahead or were they merely happy to stay in the body of water that was nearly still and peaceful?

Figure 5

The geese may have the choice, but only for moments. We do have choices for brief moments or for specific actions. As the goose flies and settles at some places for periods of time, we may have choice to do the many things of life. The flow of water does not have choice even for a moment. The journey of life continues relentlessly and without a break.

The geese, the water, the ledge, the rocks, the turbulence and the greenery, the many things we do in life and the journey of life are all parts of nature.

Thath Thwam Asi – You and the universe are integral in each other.

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