It might be determined by a casual observer, that I live in odd distance from where it would be expected to find me. It is by choice but not by plan. And unlike the city girl of my growing up days I no longer like congested, densely populated areas as a permanent living situation. Give me green views, bird song and clean air if that can be arranged.
Everyone knows it is impossible to correctly or accurately gauge the long view of one’s life. What percentage of us have successfully executed plans we made in that five-years-from-now exercise? Most of mine have shifted accompanied by the curious attribute of unpredictability. I blame life.
But have you seen them? Men and women, the young, the old, casting about eyes angered by lifetimes of fear and frustration. Popular sentiment is pervasive unhappiness. There seem to be few professions of peace and satisfaction and fewer still would admit to anything resembling joy.
We humans tend to carry many and varied burdens of hurt or anguish which, even with the healing quality of time, rarely dissipate completely. Yet, the awakened genius of our universal dilemma comes as a flash in the cosmic pan, transforming all of life’s warts and quirks into teachers. If we don’t reject them, we will come to realize our many guides and mentors disguised as difficult people. Fully incorporating the unruly, obstinate, contentious as well as the genteel, comforting, friendly specters sets a balance.
Walking a path which has no stones to circumvent or fissures to cross would be simpler. One would not even need to pick up one’s feet, but only slide them along or better yet, find someone to hang onto and let them pull you through life.
A life trail worn and rugged does something miraculous. When the skills to tread a rocky slope or a chasm deep with emotions are exercised, open eyes and heart come onto the playground. Travail and suffering fall away and love is released. Not only do we become strong, wise and compassionate a light begins to shine beyond ourselves.
There is no religion I know of that would negate the power of love to broaden and deepen the capacity for joy in this life. And although true love’s goal is not to gain anything in particular, the outcome of its existence is the creation of freedom and peace.