What really matters

Sooner or later, just by living, we’re reduced to what matters; as many of the things we thought were important and irreplaceable are broken or snapped like small branches in a storm. And somehow, as we heal from the scratches and bruises, we stand taller, covered by less. It’s then we begin to feel gratitude, even though it’s hard to be grateful for what is difficult. In the earned nakedness that follows honest experience, we are very close to the thread that connects us to everything.

Mark Nepo, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be

It continues to flow

A different wisdom tradition, this time in the Hebrew Scriptures. Things move on, governed by ‘time and chance’; the underlying attitude is one of trust

A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south, and goes around to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they continue to flow.
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all.

Book of Ecclesiastes

Self-balanced

Very wet and windy this morning, the beginning of of a storm. The news today is full of agitation and uncertainty, including Brexit, Ukraine, migration and the lack of vision of  our “leaders”. Where can we find a firm ground?

O to be self-balanced for contingencies,
to confront night, storms, hunger,
ridicule, accidents, rebuffs,
as the trees and animals do

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Learning to bend

The first very cold night of the year here and strong wind and rain expected later today.  Ancient wisdom for dealing with the changing weathers of life: 

All things, the grass as well as the trees,
are tender and soft while alive
When dead, they are withered and dried.

Therefore the stiff and the rigid are companions of death
The gentle and the kind are the companions of life

Lao Tzu