When I Walk…
When I walk a trail such as the one near Brick Works I naturally feel good. Part of it, my feeling, has a shadow. There is admittedly some guilt (I’ll explain), and part of it, some resentment (also to be explained).
Firstly, and happily, I’m taken by the diversity of vegetation and the incredible fall colours that throws you into a child’s wonderland. That is 90% of the composition of my feeling. Another 5% leaves me feeling ignorant as I hardly can identify a Norway maple to be distinct from other maples. “Woe is me,” I thought. I don’t know the names of my friends. The flip side of this ignorance is that here is an opportunity to learn. The 5% of my emotions strike the chord of a resentment. Why wasn’t I educated on the subject matter on these ever existing companions? Was learning algebra more important than getting acquainted with these guys that offer beauty, fragrance, oxygen, food, fuel, warmth? Time could have been better spent I think.
I guess I will tread the path of the seniors, delight in birding and plants and feeling the elements like never before. I have for some time dabbled in the exploration of these marvelous creatures. When I was young I never thought I’d get there, to that age I meant. It leads me to believe that the biggest illusion in life is that when you’re young you’ll retain youthfulness forever. Youthful energy and youthful mindset can be so foolhardy.
Perhaps the invincibility syndrome of youthfulness is what went on in the tiny mind of this 3 inch baby snake as he slithered across the path today. A barefoot woman stood by the little guy and warned me of his vulnerable presence. I stopped, looked at him, but momentarily as it felt like the woman wanted and needed her solo experience with him. I thought to honour her wish and I carried on with the trail and continuing to be caught in awe and wonder at what was all around me.
I should note that I was not the only one enwrapped in the autumnal loveliness. There were dozens and dozens of people each moving on their own stride in cooperation with nature.
Before the night’s rest, I read a passage from our guru, Srila Prabhupada as he defined the word, ‘cooperation’. In simple logic and terms he said in a talk in Seattle in 1968, “When you do something in cooperation with the Lord, that is called bhakti, devotion.”