Why should life be a difficult journey?

Bird Droppings March 30, 2022
Why should life be a difficult journey?

“Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke

About four years ago, I visited with my mother, and I walked by my father’s and brother’s gravesites or stood by them. I recalled the day I was called from work almost nineteen years ago; my brother had passed away during the night. I looked about the hillside where he was buried, and now my father is buried there. The farm had been home to many families over the years. Most recently, a family of share croppers tilled the land planting cotton for nearly sixty years and ran a dairy farm for a local land baron and financier. He has passed away and left his name on a local church gym and road signs around the county.

As I looked out at now soccer fields and houses where not too many years ago boll weevils were poisoned and mules driven along furrows plowing terraces to keep what remaining topsoil in place, I saw a crow land in an old cedar tree. I walked over and watched the crow for a few minutes and recalled that when you see cedar trees six or so in a row, there was once an old fence line traditionally in Georgia. I knew this particular row well, for I had taken the old rusty fence many years ago that ran along through them.

I wanted to sit a moment at my brother’s gravesite as I thought back several years to a similar time when I was waiting for my father to come home from the hospital sitting in this exact spot. I was sitting, and I wondered at all that had happened in the eighteen years since. What journeys had I been on? As I thought, I glanced over at several burial markers from before the civil war from a family that had lived on this land so many years ago. Little granite houses fashioned from slabs of rock into body-sized houses. There are four that can still be seen through the thicket of old honeysuckle vines and sumac stalks.

I was thinking back to the days when my children, nieces, and nephews made the mosaics tiles to lay on my brother’s grave. There is one for each of my mother’s grandchildren. Each is a piece fashioning their ideas into a mosaic of individual tiles and pieces of glass. There were several music notes on one, an ibis on another, flowers on several, an art design with a heart and arrows coming from it on another. I thought it would be great to have a guidebook explaining each color and tile piece to know why and where, and who placed each one.

On a different thought, I received an email from a dear friend in Pennsylvania many days back responding to a dropping from a few days ago. She added a thought, “The past cannot be changed, but the future is whatever you want it to be.” She was not sure where it came from. I searched this morning and came up with an unknown author. But as I looked and wondered about our mosaics in life, my own in particular, what road was I on, where was I going. Would one day I look back and see the tiles in place in my own life and try to recall why and where and how a most challenging journey has been.

I recall days I would have wished on no one and am sorry I lived, but I wonder. I went out earlier and watched the moon faint behind a bank of clouds slowly moving across the morning darkness. It was so quiet, nearly silent, as I walked around this morning with only a car in the distance to mark civilizations’ intrusion on my peace.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises from our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.” Buddha

I wonder about this as I look back on my heart surgery. The last few moments were spent joking with nurses and the doctor before the sedative took effect while I was having surgery. What if we wander from our thoughts drift astray for a moment or two? Does our world change manipulate by where we are at the time?

“Things do not change; we change.” Henry David Thoreau

It has been a week of seeking answers to questions within absolutes that are obsolete, wondering if, and trying to find which pathway is easier to tread. I am changing my life to live, and I will be watching what I eat rather than simply eating anything in sight. Additionally, I need to lose weight and start a regular exercise program. Most significant to me is returning to my morning meditation and interaction with all that is.

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Throughout my life, I have made choices in despair many times rather than from exhilaration and, on some occasions, made a mistake. As I sat wondering reading Twain’s words, it caught me so often that complacency ties us in, cast off the bowlines, explore dreams, and discover, as Twain so eloquently stated. I have always been a searcher traveling through this life, exploring the myriads of trails and pathways. I am always looking, always exploring, wondering, talking, asking questions, and seeking answers to questions without any answers, wearing out shoes as I travel. Many are the times, I would walk barefoot rather than stop.

I recall a brief journey where I had to take off my shoes and, in doing so, learned several lessons. You cannot break in new boots on a weeklong hike. Number two is that moleskin is a beautiful invention, and third, it will protect your feet. Your feet can be the difference between another journey and sitting down waiting. I have wandered today trying to resolve for myself issues that may never be resolved, ideas that will perpetuate my soul for some time. I have, yet as Mark Twain stated, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do.” So as you go, take another step, search down another pathway, find a new trail in life, but do not try and break in new boots as you go. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and heart and always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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