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The warm front that came in last night made short work of the onset of the freezing over of the lake and softened up the ground around it. The activity level of the birds this morning would make one think that it was spring in the second week of December, what with grass full of robins feeding on winter berries and more. Several flocks of geese were overhead, in the lake, and on mounds around the lake.

Not to be outdone, the squirrels and woodpeckers seemed to be highly active too. I believe I had my first ever sighting of a black-and-white downy woodpecker! In the midst of all this activity, I did notice that there was nary a breeze to dislodge the few remaining leaves off of the trees. The starkness of the trees did unveil the dozens of nests everywhere – those which were hidden in plain sight in the spring and summer.

As I stood at the inflection point of one of the s-curves on the trail, I marveled at all the companions who walk with me, keep watch over me, as I often walk these trails. I know that the geese in the pond watch me as they often swim in the opposite direction of my travels. The heron always sees me before I see her, and takes off before I get too close. And yet I know that they are all with me, whether they are in the seen or the unseen.

I am grateful for them all, just as I am grateful for all the fellow seekers, the silent and the vocal, who share their journey with me. We may think and believe that we walk our spiritual path alone, and yet, we would be well served to remember that there are many who often walk with us. Our companions may be known or unknown to us — and yet their energy, and their commitment attracts grace to us all on our journeys.

As we walk our way home, aren’t we also “simply walking each other home?” Are we to really believe that we can undertake the greatest journey of our lives, on the basis of our own strength? If so, then is that not our outsized ego leading the way? It may seem paradoxical that our shared journey is also a highly personal one, but that paradox can only make us more aware and grateful for our fellow travelers.

Nature teaches us that there is great strength in numbers that travel with each other towards a shared purpose. As I listened to the symphonies of birdsong this morning, I was reminded that we can all bring our sweet instrument to the choir. No matter the song, there is room and need enough for the sopranos, the altos, the bassists and the tenors alike. The conductor of the symphony needs them all to synthesize a beautiful harmony. Isn’t it time that we recognized the unique voices of our companions, accept their strengths that strengthen us, and offer support to them other on our journey?

When grace flows, it attracts and gathers many to its banks, and then touches them with love. I choose to believe that that is the way the universe works. It is no accident that when we hear and answer the call, we often find ourselves in a sangha – the company of fellow seekers. In such companionship, where we feel empowered to walk our own walk, we can raise the vibration of truth, awareness and joy for all. That’s cause in itself for celebration, isn’t it?

Kumud

P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat with the #SpiritChat community, Sunday Dec 12 at 9amET / 730pm India. Bring your singing voices and we can create some new harmonies. Namaste. – @AjmaniK

Birds of a feather… traveling home for winter