The Path Less Traveled

I walk…I meditate…I meld into everything around me as if it is all One.

With the sun rising on my face and the snow crumbling under my feet I walk.  I experience the calmness of this moment through the change my feet are creating through the destruction of my step.  I can feel the silence through the sound of snow crunching with each moment.  I can sense the warmth of the sun through the chill of this winter’s morn.  It is all part of One, it is all perfect.

The path I took to these moments was clear.  Snow plows had cut a path to the walking/jogging paths adjacent to a local recreation park.  The walk was brisk but a bit icy until the moment it came to to take the paved walking paths.  Today, those paths were covered with anywhere from 4-6 inches of snow.

I had a choice here.  I could walk the path not traveled since the 28 inches of snow fell a few days ago, or I could walk a path cleared for me by others.  As I examined both choices, I realized that this was a metaphor for my life and the observations I have of the lives around me.  On one side there is the path relatively smooth, cleared by the hands of others that would require minimal effort to traverse, and on the other side a path whose very essence was an obstacle.  I could not know how deep the snow would get as each moment (step) passed, or if there would be ice to stumble on, or frankly what laid before me in the smoothness of the snow that spanned as far as I could see.  On one path there was the illusion of safety and security and on the other the illusion of danger in the unknown.  Yet both were illusions that would allow me to have the experience I wished to have.

As I took my first steps in the deep snow, I readily accepted the labor involved in as each step passed.  I barely noticed the cars as they sped by on the relatively clear roadway.  Their sound became part of the nature that surrounded me, barely detectable above the rush of wind through the trees I walked next to.  I could feel the sun beginning to crest over the horizon behind me, and it seemed that nature itself was taking her cue from the sun about to bid it “good morning”.  The birds came alive in song, the squirrels began their daily activities, and it seemed that even dogs began barking in unison with life around me.  It all was so perfect.

A feeling came over me at some point in this meditation.  I realized that acceptance was the key to this moment of joy.  I wondered about our society, this illusion of “we” created by our minds for the human need of companionship, acceptance and yes, confrontation.  Had I become a metaphor for this “society”?  Was I so attached to the ideal of comfort that the very idea of discomfort became bad?  Was I so attached to the desire for love that the very idea of being myself had become foreign to me?  Had I become so attached to my ideas of “right” and “wrong”, those very illusions created by me in order to judge myself and others, that I was unwilling to just let others “be” in who they were in their own dream?

Perhaps why I made the choice to walk the harder path at that moment.  I sought to be outside that which I considered “comfortable” or “safe”.  Perhaps I have the notion of “comfort” and “safe” so that I can have the experience I am having now, the moments of discomfort and insecurity.  Perhaps the reason I have either (or both) experience is so that I can realize that the experience itself is nothing more than an illusion, that I am no more ensured security in my bed at night than I am on a rickety bridge above a bottomless pit.  I am ensured nothing except the experience this life offers, for life itself is nothing more than a continual loop of varying experiences the purpose of which is to nurture the soul.

In a passing moment of fancy I wondered whether I would have made it to this moment had I chosen what seemed like the “safer” path.  I realize that thoughts like this are meaningless except in providing proof of their meaninglessness.  Yet, there is some validity to this thought if only to say that we must accept this moment as all we will ever have, as all that we are ever promised, and to enjoy the experience of this moment in all of its glory.  To this I open my heart to this moment, and give thanks to It for the experience it has created, and that this ability to dream beyond what I am.

Namaste

©2010 Thomas P. Grasso All Rights Reserved ☮ ℓﻉﻻ٥ ツ

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