Tide is out … WAYYY out! It is early evening and the end of day is drawing near. The beach is empty and a string of oval white buoys designating safe swimming boundaries lies in a wobbly line over mud flats. In the middle of the beach stands a small white sign warning people to STAY OFF MUD FLATS since there is a risk of getting stuck while tide is out. Well beyond this sign is a large area of land that is often invisible, immersed under ocean waters.
As the sun sinks slowly down the horizon toward distant mountains, an elderly gentleman prepares to launch himself for an evening canoe paddle. Alone, he carries a sizeable vessel overtop his shoulders that stretches much farther than his tall physique. Like a great blue heron, his legs are noticeably long with spindly legs. His body is adorned with a light yellow life jacket and feet with bright orange rubbery clog-style crocs which seem to flex as naturally as birds feet, never gripping his soul (sole)! They support him very well as he meanders about searching moment by moment for the best path to the waters edge. At times his feet do sink down leaving visible chunks of mud around his soles but this never inhibits him. In no time, he reaches the water and skillfully lowers the boat, half into the water and half out. He then lifts the rear without an ounce of sternness, pushes the boat out, quickly steps in, nestles into his seat and rhythmically paddles away towards the mountains! The sun has now sunk low enough to reflect thousands of glistening jewels on the waters surface. Tide is now coming back in with gentle ripples moving inwards creating a soothing melodic sloshing sound in the environment. As the mud flat gradually disappears, so too does the elderly gentleman floating off into the sunset.
Humans and nature are astonishing forces. Just as tides come in and out in their own natural rhythm, humans grow and expand themselves in their own way and time. Despite warning signs about the mud flats, the elderly gentleman confidently followed his instinctual knowing and successfully traverse the flats while carrying a heavy vessel. He may have spent most of his life in ocean environments and had years of experience exploring the natural world, coming away with lots of inherent knowledge that is not visible to the naked eye. The lesson here is for all of us to be mindful about personal safety in the natural world. Use your intuition and intellect when deciding the best choice for yourself. If you wonder about things, research credible resources and expand your knowledge base. Follow what feels inherently right for you in the moment and stretch your wings when you are ready to do so!
“Heaven gives, Earth receives and allows to grow, Man accomplishes. Only a man in perfect accord with himself, in perfect sincerity, can go to the limits of his own nature.” – Francois Cheng
Three American robins swoop and soar, singing their chorus like a trio in grey suits and red shirts. Their song is vibrant and lively, feeling highly melodic and cheery in nature. “Cheerilleee, cheereewup, cheeriohhh! Cheep, cheep, cheep!” echoes through the air as they fly wildly together in verse, chasing a crow! The crow flies straight into a wall of tall golden cedar trees and instantly disappears into the foliage. Following right behind him are the three red robins, who abruptly swoop up and away at the face of the trees. Once the robins have disappeared, the crow bursts forth, flying smoothly and gracefully to a nearby giant evergreen tree. In flight, he caws ever so softly, fully aligned with his gentle flapping motion.
Live in the moment like this wise crow. With no more robins around, he instantly harbours a state of calm balance as if there was never any chaos. Caw softly like the crow. Be mindful about using a gentle tone alongside gentle actions. And choose a ‘good branch’ (aka: a safe place!) to land upon so you can get a good perspective for observing the world around you. Perch ‘up high’ in a quiet place to reflect and ponder all that is in the moment. Close your eyes. Breathe in the fresh life energy of the tree. Allow the tree’s wisdom to wash over you. Become the tree: strong, wise and stable! You are much more than you know!
A new season is in full bloom! Spectacular new life has sprung up everywhere! Blossoms cover the ground with abundant tulips and daffodils dancing gently together in the breeze. Blooms flourish overhead with ecstatic colours adorning branches against the magnificent blue sky. Flowering shrubs burst forth a bounty of exotic petals hiding all the foliage behind them. This awe inspiring contrast from the wintry months gone by is the wellspring of life!
Billions of birds have returned, singing their sweet melodies in the early morning hours. Some also sing at the end of day! Their captivating trills echo through the evening sky, calling in the love of their life! And sure as a new season comes, so too does their beloved partner! Trilling is indeed thrilling and heart fulfilling! In a nearby garden, insects buzz about gathering delicious nectar from flowers, scurrying ants crawl up from underground ready for a new season of work, and worms wiggle up through garden soil to explore all the new changes.
An abundance of new life increases with increasing warmth from more and more sun light. As days get longer, the sun’s powerful rays nourishes all on earth, including us humans! Like trees, plants, birds and insects, we too can come more alive in abundant ways. Allow your spirit to be deeply nourished by the sun and all living things around you. Spend lots of time in nature. Sit under a tree and lose yourself in the aroma of sun baked flowers! Breathe in the beauty. Breathe in life and then let the beauty become you!
Winter is still here and Spring is just around the corner. Although the evenings can be frosty and there is still some snow on the ground, days warm up quite nicely. The nights’ frozen hard soil gradually softens more and more with increasing daylight, welcoming an abundance of fresh new shoots as they emerge from the ground with a colorful array of buds from perennial favorites. Seemingly magnetized by the sun’s radiant energy, each burst forth growing taller and fuller each day until fully in bloom, resounding a magnificent chorus, singing vibrantly together: “We wanna’ be just like the sun! Beaming so strong, glowing as ONE! Lighting the earth, giving new birth!”
Then as night falls and an evening chill returns, the flowers become silent as their petals close like hands in prayer, protecting their delicate golden stamens within. Remaining like this for the rest of the night, they neither wilt nor wither but continue to thrive in their own naturally miraculous way. It is as if they quietly whisper to us in the early morning hours, “You too can be strong and beautiful like us. You can thrive naturally!”
When we open ourselves to receiving their message, we see the flowers mirroring the power of the sun. Every flower holds faith in each new day. They naturally return to a new cycle of growth and flourishing each spring, showing inherent resilience within. Even if the air is chilly and filled with drifting snow, even if the sky is dark and seemingly uncomfortable, the flowers show faith in their blossoming faces. They beam a ray of trust showing their ability to thrive! We too can thrive just like spring flowers and blossom our inherent beauty to the world! Hold faith in your heart and become faith! Then boldly stand out from amongst others and radiate your true essence!
It’s Valentines Day! Love is in the air. Outside a mini strip mall situated on a mountain plateau, streams of people scurry in and out of small shops, carrying bags of groceries, boxes of treats, bouquets of balloons and fresh cut flowers. Surrounding mountain vistas and evergreen trees lend to a quaint village atmosphere with heavenly qualities, as a white blanket of newly fallen snow covers the ground. Abundant love is evident everywhere you look!
Strong and tall evergreen trees graciously hold branch fulls of snowflakes drifted down from the heavens. Each branch lovingly protects all life below it. Small plants, furry squirrels and an enchanted couple thrive joyously under the trees. A young women stands face to face with her beloved while embracing a giant brown plush puppy dog, half her size! The gleam in her eyes and smile on his face tells all. The bouquet of fresh flowers in her arms speaks volumes: “We are beautiful!!!”
A nearby park provides exhilarating adventures for sleigh riders while the sun evokes warm smiles and gleeful laughter. The sky above shows puffy white clouds merging into one big cloud. And the visible blue sky presents the greatest present of all presents! The presence of eternity! The vast and limitless nature of the sky mirrors love in miraculous ways.
Love is limitless. Love knows no bounds. Love is far reaching and available to all those who are open to giving and receiving it. Open your heart and mind to the beauty of love that is ever present. Maintain awareness each and every moment. Be grateful for all that you have. Then watch your life grow in surprisingly synchronistic ways! Love is THE CURE for all suffering and pain. Love is be all and end all. Love is the reason why we are here on this planet! Love yourself … unconditionally. Love others. Love the world … and the world will love you back!
Where does a toddler trek in the forest? Off the beaten path! The adventurous spirit of a young child naturally tests limits . . . everyday and in every way! Nestled in the forest, he takes steps towards dense foliage where tangles of vines and low lying shrubs intermingle with ferns, mosses and trees of all shapes and sizes. The soil is barely visible underfoot with luscious green growth and tree debris everywhere. Every step is a mystery and has an element of unknown to it. But this has no impact on the toddler. He curiously treks forward, one little shoe at a time . . . akin to baby steps! The path is revealed moment by moment and the destination is a surprise to behold. How far will he venture? Where will he stop?
His pathless path eventually leads to a narrow secondary path where wild animals may have trekked before him. This path widens downhill towards a trickling creek which immediately captures his attention. He starts to walk downhill with increasing speed and in less than a minute, his feet are at the water’s edge. There is no foot bridge here except for one large rock situated mid-stream. The toddler’s legs are not long enough to stride across though and he is obviously not compelled to step into the water, so he stays put observing all that is around him.
Suddenly, a high pitched “Ehhhh!” erupts from the little boy as he joyfully waves his arm and points his finger at the dancing bubbles all around his feet. Like two old friends reuniting, the toddler and creek continue a conversation in delightfully spirited language! Soon birds join in, chirping and fluttering overhead. Then a little brown squirrel leaps into view as it squeaks and scampers up a tree to watch what is going on below him. All of this is magically enlivened with a soft breeze blowing aromatic forest scents throughout the area At that very moment, a precious and pure smile washes over the toddler’s face. His eyes sparkle, forehead glows and teeth gleam. His cheeks become full and round reflecting the luminous qualities of a new moon on a warm summer evening!
This paradise-like moment united all living things. The child’s spirit and natural energies of the forest became one. There was a glorious intrinsic beauty all around. There was no divide, no separation, only oneness with all. Remember that we humans are not separate from the natural world but an integral part of it. Mother nature reflects our soul and our soul is deeply soothed by her in myriad ways!
Out in the wilderness, a condor soars high above treetops. In the city, a condo stands tall and still amidst a grove of evergreen trees. High rises abound in big cities as forest covered hills are cleared for humans to experience what the condor gets every day: magnificent views! Ride the elevator up to the top floor and discover a whole new way of seeing life on earth!
Mindful meditation on a sundeck of a rooftop condo is an experience to behold. No longer at the base of the tree, this new vantage yields breathtaking perspectives! Birds fly towards you and around you at eye level! Their wing span looks much larger than from below and the tree tops are bursting full of unique character. No two are alike! Some are straight as an arrow while others droop softly downwards. Some are densely populated with needles while others are spindly and sparse. Some are narrow and twisty while others plump and perfectly imperfect! Most have foliage but a few have only bare branches. All have different heights and shapes. All sway gently together in the grand refreshing breeze!
Watching the trees dance for a good hour or more can shift perspectives in surprising ways. All of a sudden, these eloquent trees resemble a glorious tribe, dancing together in unison with all members literally rooted together at their foundation. Each one sways joyously next to another as birds sing, call and swoop overhead. Some birds even perch themselves on the very tip of a tree! That’s reason enough to sing out loud and proud!
What if we were to mimic these birds and trees? What if we allowed ourselves to move freely in life … to soar in open air or dance alongside others without any negative energy at all? What would life be like? What would change?
Whatever you choose, whether a bird or a tree, you certainly will be … naturally free!