Wednesday, February 15, 2023
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We Are Held by What We Can’t See

Seven within the morning. Forty-seven levels. October 2. I’m as much as my knees in sage and rabbitbrush by the large expanse of the Summer season Lake playa in Oregon. Completely flat for forty sq. miles, the playa is the chalky white mattress of an historic, land-locked lake. Beside the empty expanse, I stand on the heart of the 4 instructions.

To the east, by means of the haze of the alkali flat, I could make out the low line of the Diablo Mountains. Behind me to the west rise Winter Ridge and Deer Head Mountain, barren and grey after final week’s wildfires. Black spars stud the slopes, all that stay of juniper groves and lodgepole pines. Just a few traces of smoke rise from stumps nonetheless smoldering after the burn. From the south come the complaints of cattle; from the north, the rolling rattle of sandhill cranes. 

The complete moon is setting at my again. Because it touches the ridgeline, its broad yellow face silhouettes burned spars, as black and limbless as phone poles. With excellent synchrony, the solar is rising throughout the playa, sliced by means of with pink cirrus stripes and a skinny layer of smoke held by chilly air over the flat. 1 / 4 circle of solar emerges, a half circle, three-quarters—can the earth be turning this rapidly?—and the solar escapes the mountains and stands alone. I’ve seen this colour earlier than: the blush on the stem finish of an apricot. No breeze stirs. No hen calls out.

In locations solely 100 miles away, in instances just a few days previous, microwaves, radio waves, and electromagnetic pulses shot by means of my physique day and evening. My automobile handed different vehicles at a mixed 140 miles per hour. The hammer of the information cycle struck incessantly, quicker and quicker, inconceivable to maintain. Deadlines grew shorter, to-do lists grew longer. Within the absence of human contact, digital messages doubled, tripled, doubled again on themselves. FYI, BTW, LOL. Because the earth hurtled by means of area, I felt I used to be leaning right into a stiff wind, my hair blown again, my arms wheeling, staggering to remain in place. 

However for this second, on this place, I’m held in excellent stillness by what I can not see. 

I’m held within the arms of gravity. The moon would pull me west, the solar would pull me east, however the earth holds me to its fiery coronary heart. 

I’m held by the environment that adheres tight to the earth. The spinning planet strikes the air, bringing the smallest wind and the sound of vehicles on the ranch street. However I cannot be blown off the face of creation, as a result of I’m held by the sky I can not see.

I’m held within the pause of this second between being and turning into—the time of a forty-mile, cow-stirred flat between two lake-times. Fourteen thousand years in the past, there was the previous lake flush with freshwater lapping towards mountain benches, its marshes stirred by elephantine legs of mammoths and a juniper-wood paddle pushing a tule-reed canoe. Fourteen thousand years to come back, there could also be a brand new lake, steaming possibly, effervescent with purple anaerobic algae that stain the seashore. The playa boils to a pores and skin of salt and fills once more beneath lightning-split skies, a part of infinite cycles of cosmic creation and destruction. 

A north wind is lifting the mud now, and the solar has subtle right into a obscure glare. I’m a confluence of the wind and the mud, the cloud-shadows and the glare. They maintain me in a swirl of interdependencies that I can not see, however really feel as a substitute—not isolation, however a way of peace, and possibly consolation, to be a part of this place, created by it, enlivened by the breath of sage and smoke. All being is interconnected: “From the arising of this,” the Buddha stated, “comes the arising of that.” 

So now I’ll return by means of the sage to my desk, as a result of I must say this to you. Every morning invitations you to be open and conscious, as spacious because the sky that passes by means of you, recognizing “the valuable nature of every day,” within the phrases of the Dalai Lama. Regardless of how frenzied you are feeling, regardless of how shoved and strangled by the frenzy of occasions, you might be standing in a single beautiful second. Regardless of the place you might be, regardless of how misplaced, you might be standing on the excellent heart of 4 instructions. Regardless of how off-kilter you are feeling, you might be standing in a spot of completely balanced forces. Even when you really feel deserted by all which may consolation you, you might be held within the embrace of what you can’t see. 

Tailored from Take Coronary heart: Encouragement for Earth’s Weary Lovers ©2022 by Kathleen Dean Moore. Reprinted by permission of Oregon State College Press.

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