Tranquil Reflections

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. LaoZi

These are trying times. With all the constant communications channels blaring 24/7 non-stop anxiety, each morning can seem like a fire-walk across a bed of glowing coals. Embers and ashes of what could have been lie on the ground, as constant reminders of what’s been lost. The risks are unevenly distributed across various metrics of age, health, location and dozens of unknown vectors. The challenge is daunting, but not impossible. Bring peace to your heart. Allow yourself to breathe easier. Step away from the updates and news flashes. A soothing soul-balm awaits in the nearest nature spot.

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.Henry David Thoreau

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.Frank Lloyd Wright The modern world offers so many conveniences and advancements. Although camping is nice, few would prefer to sleep rough in the bushes every day over curling up in one’s own bed. Too many folks though have been hiding in artificial safe rooms as the pandemic surges and crests only to surge again. The demon virus has not been vanquished. Now, the seasons are changing. Soon the cold weather will come bringing flu season as well. The tendency will be to retreat further into one’s fabricated world. Minimizing risk is wonderful, but it is not enough to simply reduce life to its minimum. The human spirit needs to be reinvigorated. Get outside and play.

Throw open the windows to your soul and look without seeing, listen without hearing. Stand in the glow of unprocessed life. Sit quietly or shout into the wind. Step softly or twirl across the grass. Do what comes naturally. Release the tension and lower the pressure. The sun will not set upon you too soon if you let go for a time. Seize today. Embrace right now. Each moment is golden. The earth has music for those who listen. – William Shakespeare

Maybe it is my background in the arts, but I become anxious when things are too controlled, or too rigid. There has to be room for wonder once in a while. Life’s tempo does not always have to be regular and metered. Stop counting the clock-beats and drift along. As the poet Rilke once wrote, Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart….live in the question. Live in the question – what great advice. There does not have to be an answer. Go with the flow and let joy unfold naturally.

These extraordinary times will not last forever. There is an expression that is often wrongly attributed to the Chinese: “May you live in interesting times.” It is said to be a curse and not a blessing. That is true, but it is not a Chinese expression. There are similar expressions in Chinese, such as “It’s better to be a dog in peaceful times than a person in chaotic times.” Since my wife, who I bless every day, is still in quarantine in China, I will leave all of you with a Chinese idiom, worrying too much is like trying to scoop the reflection of the sun from the water.

Published by cewheeler

Writer/Artist:12 years in China – univ. lecturer: writing,poetry,culture; editor – magazine/newspaper & actor. 40 years students of the Tao. Traveler. Father. Read my books at:

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