As We Are

I seem to be retreat/relaxation challenged. I spent a long weekend at a cabin in Yosemite, and the first two days were reminiscent of my monastery experience.

I worried that I would break some complicated apparatus, such as the stove, or that I would need to ask the neighbors to help me fill the water tank and they would hate me, which as everyone knows is how most rational human beings react when someone asks for help. Mind you, I hadn’t even checked the tank.

wildflowerAt this point I did the only sensible thing and went for a walk. (For those of you who are plot-driven, the tank was full and the neighbors brought me chocolate chip cookies—the best of all possible endings.) On one hillside, I saw a wildflower that starts life curled up like a fern. A few of the blossoms had just begun to poke out into white spikes.

The flowers reminded me of one of my least favorite phrases in the whole world: Let all things be exactly as they are. Unfortunately, they argued in favor of it.

Some reasons to hate this saying: war, poverty, mass species extinction, etc. But wildflowers have no control over whether they happen to spring up on the posh hillside or on some less desirable slope, and what good will it do them to try for spiky, white petals before springtime?

Did the other half of Half Dome want to remain in place, or did it strive to break off before the ice age? Either way, hard to argue with a glacier or lack thereof.

Part of me still resists things as they are, but part of me says, trust the glaciers. The water tank may be full. The neighbors may bring cookies. We will bloom or break when it’s time, and either result may be unexpectedly beautiful.

2 thoughts on “As We Are

  1. I, too, consider “let all things be exactly as they are” one of my least favorite phrases. However, I believe I first heard it, and met you, in the same place at the same time. So there’s that. I also really resist, “everything happens for a reason” and “God does not give us more than we can bear.” Maybe our next SP can involve coming up with new, more useful phrases, such as ” good food pretty much fixes everything, at least temporarily.”

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