Now is the time to look up. Literally. Not because there are black clouds gathering with threat of rain chasing you off high places for shelter lower down. For many good reasons rising eyes from the ground and above the horizontal is advised. While, of course, glancing down, to step safely.
Walking with eyes down cast. Sitting with eyes down cast. Standing looking into a ‘device’ all have an impact both mentally and physically. And this morning as I prepare for a walk around Stocks Reservour in the Bowland Forest I’m thinking of ‘aiming up’. Meaning I’ll be raising my eyes above the level of the horizon, frequently. Not just because there are birds and wild fowl buzzing about. butterfly’s too. All interesting to be marveled at.
Nope its because raising my eyes is ‘uplifting’. Who would have thought it only takes look up to uplift oneself. Nothing more required. Well except for also remembering not to fly off (mentally) into the treetops and leave the rest of me behind, dangling unknowingly nowhere in particular. Better stay back with that which is the rest of me!
What we need most, we learn from the menial tasks:
the novice raking sand in Buddhist texts,
or sweeping leaves, his hands chilled to the bone,
while understanding hovers out of reach;
the changeling in a folk tale, chopping logs,
poised at the dizzy edge of transformation;
and everything they do is gravity:
swaying above the darkness of the well
to haul the bucket in; guiding the broom;
finding the body’s kinship with the earth
beneath their feet, the lattice of a world
where nothing turns or stands outside the whole;
and when the insight comes, they carry on
with what’s at hand: the gravel path; the fire;
knowing the soul is no more difficult
than water, or the fig tree by the well
that stood for decades, barren and inert,
till every branch was answered in the stars.
Helps to read this several times. Enjoy and thank you to Mark for forward the poem on to me. Mark, if you have a photo which I can add to this post that would be great.
Ah Mabel. Yesterday a photo call by the milky white waterfall in the aptly named Sourmilk Gill above Grasmere.
I’ve know Mabel since she was a wee pup. She just turned three years March 1st and is as lively as ever and loves the lakes almost as much as I do. Whatever the weather, wetter the better for her.
I’ve traveled this path about four times in the last year and as I walked this time memories swam in and out. In my mind walks jumbled together along with the different companions, the walking conditions, stops to snack etc.
Memory snap-shots all jumbled out of sequence. And it maybe the out-of-sequence nature of memories generally that has me wondering just how much of memory is made up, unconsciously. Imaging, imagining, visualizing events and conversations so as to make sense of the jumble. Brains are brilliant at keeping us safe mentally and emotionally. But not necessarily accurate. As we know to our cost sometimes.
So my thought now is on what my teacher taught us. To remember to think when in contention, ‘I could be wrong’, or alternatively ‘I could be right’! An aid to nurturing humility and confidence, depending. All relative though.
Thanks to friends who tolerate my leaky memory. Wars are made of this! Careers are lost and broken because of this.
Plain outright fibs are another story. Mabel! Did you roll in Fox poo? Who me!