I decided to change course, and return to one of my favorite birding trails for my weekly Friday morning walk. Although it is less than ten minutes from my home, I hadn’t been there since spring. Now, with autumn at our doorstep and the migratory season underway, I figured it would have some new gifts of peace for me.
Two things typically happen when I step into the walking and birding trails in the various reservations around my town. First, and almost instantly, a sense of peace embraces me for it feels like I’m transported back into a cocoon of grace. Second, and this can take a few minutes, the poetry and prose muse returns and gets me writing. As I walk, I do my best to gather the messages that the messengers send my way in my memory, so that none may get lost.
Today’s first message was from the bridge spannning the pond covered with thick green algae. The excessive rain this summer has created such dense foliage and shrubbery everywhere that the bridge was barely visible from the trail. And yet, its welcome was as warm as always. And so, I did the ritual that I often do midway through every bridge crossing. I chanted an invocation, a mantra, asking for peace to radiate to all of humanity. Sarve bhavantu sukhinah. May all be at peace.
The bridge led me to the major section of the trail which winds its way through a canopy of woods. The sun was rising slowly and there was plenty of opportunity to simply stand and stare every so often for a few minutes at the play of orange and yellow streaks backlighting the leaves. Another peace chant. Bhumi mangalam, Vayu mangalam, Gagan mangalam. May the earth, wind and skies be filled with peace and prosperity.
The half or so mile under the canopy opens up into a trail that is flanked by two huge bodies of marshy water. Giant egrets, standing as still as the Sun in the sky, dotted the waterscape on both sides. Parts of the marsh had been taken over by natural fields filled with yellow flowers. Another peace chant followed. May the peace of the fauna and the flora find its way to us.
On my way back through the canopy, I asked myself the question – does nature instill new peace within me or does it serve to remove the clouds that often form the canopy that block my view of the peace within me? Perhaps nature is the mirror that reflects, maybe amplifies the level of peace that we bring to her. Our perceived lack of peace is perhaps merely our heart looking for someone to listen to us with love, and make us aware of all the prose and poetry that we already carry within us.
No matter the medium, the messengers and messages often repeat themselves. Truth. Kindness. Silence. Stillness. Joy. Consciousness. All the messages are simply reminders that all of the Peace that we need or desire is already within us.
May we remember.
Join us on International Day of Peace, Sunday Sep 19 at 9amET / 630pm India for our weekly gathering on Twitter. Bring your message of Peace to share with the #SpiritChat community. Namaste ~ @AjmaniK