Sunday, March 05, 2023

More than Can Be Read In Books


I more clearly see an ending to this journey, with each day bringing me closer to a final scene. I want whatever time is left to be meaningful for myself and others. After seven decades on earth with myriad experiences, all inscribed in God´s cosmic records and my memory, I yearn for more wisdom, understanding and insight into life.

At times in the last few months I have had the feeling, What am I doing with my life? What am I to do with my time?  I have been an artist, writer, photographer, traveler, husband, father and friend. All has helped define me. Now, what more? Of course moving with Amy to a little village in Mexico flipped our lives. My art changed and I ask , Where am I? Who am I?

An excerpt from the writings of Baha├║´llah has been as a lantern in the darkness for me for many years: “O My friend, listen with heart and soul to the songs of the spirit, and treasure them as thine own eyes.” – Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys.

An urge recently  took hold to go alone on a vision quest, forsaking food and routine in order to get spiritual clarity. There is a a nature reserve called Cuatro Venados, or Four Deer, about 45 minutes from our house and the road there is paved, with little traffic.

We drove and Amy left me alone, agreeing to return on the third day. An old man took my 500 pesos ( about 25.00 USD) for two nights, then showed me uphill to a cabin made of adobe mud bricks and timber. It could sleep 6 people and had a fireplace. Basically a big room with bathroom attached. Windows with curtains on three sides. Other cabins were nearby on the hillside but I was the only one staying there. Very quiet and I soon felt alone. 

Nearby, a short walk down a dusty road and into the woods is a waterfall that is fabulous. It is part of the attraction of the eco-resort. Also on the property are little trails I explored. A creek runs through on its way to the waterfall. Especially I thrilled at the pine trees and greenery all around. At home, everything is dusty and brown from four months of dry season and no rain. 

Curiously, I had no hunger, and if a small craving came I enjoyed quashing it. My energy stayed good, but eventually I tired more easily during walks. The last night I woke and felt very strange including my heart. If I spiraled into something dangerous I was stuck without help. So I ate a bowl of granola and coconut water.

Everything around was speaking to me: the pine trees, birds, temperatures that went from hot to cold, stars in the night sky, silence and nature. I wrote in my journal: Just being, no agenda—The sound of a gurgling brook. Inhaling pine sap that has been warmed by sunlight. Water flowing over land and through the woods, meandering serpentine until a cliff interrupts its course, causing it to cascade through air, splashing on rock, falling more in spray and thunder until collecting in pools⏤only to resume an inexorable journey. I sit on a hillside that is covered deep in pine needles, under pine trees, while listening to the waterfall. The forest is dappled in light. Air is cool and balmy with gentle breezes wafting all around.  

“Nothing do I perceive, but I perceive God within it, God before it and God after it.” – Baha’u’llah

“Sometimes a tree can tell you more than can be read in books.”  ⏤C G Jung

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