Thursday, January 23, 2014
I love the little altars created by the seasons. I came across this one on a recent walk beside the dirt road above my house. The road is no more than a rough track, grassy in summer and muddy and rutted most of the year. I like walking it because to one side up the mountain is dense forest and rhododendren thicket while stunning mountain vistas appear from time to time on the other. Then there are the momentary treasures, the tiny landscapes created by moss, rock and root, a number of small rivulets trickling over miniature boulders making fairy waterfalls and little altars like the one above that offer feather and shell to the mystery of winter.
In my earlier life I moved fast, constantly on my way to somewhere else. I have always loved walking and hiking with destination in mind..goal, accomplishment, conquest. Now in old age I prefer to stroll, to savor what is at my feet as well as at eye level. Always the taskmaster voice in my head instructs me to pick up the pace for the sake of my health but a softer lovelier new voice encourages my dawdling, stopping, seeing, touching, listening, inhaling, even tasting the landscape of the present moment. When I let go of effort, I can briefly move into vertical time and become one with all that is seamless and beautiful. This to me is the truest form of prayer.