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The walk lasted only about twenty minutes – a third of the time that I typically walk when the trail isn’t covered with ankle deep snow. Walking in the tundra can be like where every step involves expending energy to pull your shoes gripped in what seems like wet cement.

And yet, walk I did because the calling after a couple of weeks of not walking was strong today. The invitation of the orange glow of the sunlight filtering through the trees branches and the cloud cover was hard to resist. I also needed to check on the health of the lake and the trail. As unexpectedly difficult as it was, I am glad that I went.

The first thing I learnt quickly was to not walk in snow tracks left be those who walked before. It’s tempting to walk in their tracks, because you think that it would be easier than walking on thinly iced snow — but that isn’t true. The previous tracks tend to be slushy, icy, and are tougher to navigate than creating your own new trail. In walking my own path, it took me longer to half-circle the lake, but it was more fun because I felt like I was more engaged and aware during the walk.

The lake looked like it was in good health, completely frozen over as it was, except for an oval patch in the middle, where it was clearly melting from the center out. When I got to a vantage point where I could get a closer look, I was fascinated to see that the water was actually gurgling out from the center, and sending circular waves into the enclosing ice. Fascinating. And the reason?

My speculation is that the lake is deepest at the center, and hence is able to retain the most warmth during the freeze. It’s a bit like how the love that has been poured into us over time and space finds a reservoir in the deepest parts of our hearts, keeping us warm through. The warmth of this very same love gurgles up and melts the ice of the world that may have frozen us out of the remembrance of who we truly are — truth, awareness, and joy.

Yes. Sometimes we may have to go without to go within. Sometimes we may have to walk new paths created of our own walking, in the middle of our winters, to rediscover That center where the depth of our love’s warmth resides. Sometimes we may have to be reminded that what truly matters — in the beginning, the middle, and the end — is the heart.

The home of light softness, stillness, kindness, lightness, listening, compassion and more. That is why our center matters. May we find ways to return to it.

Kumud

Join us for our weekly gathering with the #SpiritChat community on twitter, Sunday Feb 13 at 9amET. We will explore what matters to us. Namaste – @AjmaniK

The heart matters… in all its colors and patterns (Art by A.A.)