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Sometimes, all it takes is a few drops of early morning rain falling on you as you walk, to erase the heaviness that you have inadvertently awakened to, despite a good night’s sleep. Little that you realize that the drops are actually harbingers of a drenching which is on the way!

The weekly Friday walk around the lake is colored with a wonderful cool breeze that precedes the warm front bringing a couple of forecasted hot days after some unseasonal coolness. The tree almost sound like the beginning of autumn. The lake surface is agog with waves rippling against the heavy, inch-thick layers of algae, which has taken over two thirds of the lake surface. I pause and lean against the wooden cow-fence, as the seeds of the river-birches welcome me back in much delight and ask – where have you been all week? Why don’t you visit more often? The four wooden and weathered steps in front of me invite me to come closer, so for the first time ever, I accept and sit on then last one step, where if I stretched my legs out, they would touch the grasses growing on the edge. A single goose flies over from the grassy knoll and joins me, loudly announcing the weather coming in as the wind picks up a couple of notches. I wonder if I should head back, to heed the warning of the heavy rain in its way, but I decide to press on. The forest cover will take care of me, I perhaps wrongly presume. In addition, what else do I have to do on this Friday morning?

The same rose-bush that be-friended me last week, grabs my shirt again as i walk by, reminding me of our budding friendship. The tree-lined part of the trail is still heavy with mud, what with all the rain of the past week and the now heavily dense leaf-canopy that prevents the sun from reaching the ground. I pause at the bend, as the swift breeze calms down for a bit, breathing in all the goodness created by the stillness and the soft murmurings of the fledglings from the depth of the forest. More seedlings fall on me on their way to the earth.

If and when we open all of our sense receptacles to it, without any filters, and embrace all of the diversity of the world around us if only for a few moments, it can help lighten our world within. Yes, it is said that what we see in the world around us is a reflection of the state of our world within, and yet, until we get to that stage, the outer can help bring peace to the inner. The diversity of the outer tableau is designed, often by our own selves through our seeking, to fulfill our greatest inner needs. Perhaps that is why some love the water, others the forests, and some are attracted to the mountains, and even the skies.

No matter what aspect of diversity we are attracted to as individuals, they are all necessary in order to meet the need of the hour or season of each individual. Why else would there exist millions of species of plants and animals, with their variations in behaviors in different seasons, if not to remind us of the necessity of diversity and the infinite possibilities of the universe? Does nature not mirror the need for the infinite diversity of humans in the human race, and serve as a reminder that there would be annihilation of any society that is intolerant of its diversity?

Imagine a toolbox with only one tool in it, say, a screw-driver. Can you build a house with it? Imagine eating the same breakfast every single day. How healthy would that be? Imagine having only a single vowel in the alphabet. What kind of communication would be possible? Would we able to write prose and poetry without diversity of vowels? Imagine.

Progress in love, and towards light, is only possible through our embrace of diversity. The diverse streams of life that flow within us, when they mingle with each other, become the universal ocean. Is it not that when we commit to the work of finding the unity within our diversity, that we come closer to the experience of Oneness?

As I walk under the canopy of tall trees on the trail, pausing occasionally to write this post, the rain is getting increasingly heavier. My phone’s screen is filling with droplets of all sizes, varying from about a hundredth of an inch to about an eight of an inch in diameter. The beauty of this impromptu canvas is perhaps living testament that diversity creates peace and beauty. It’s a long way back to the car, so I find a tree with a heavy leaf cover, and try and ride out the downpour. As I wait for the rain to lighten, I am filled with a rush of gratitude for the fact that no matter the season, the diversity of nature has always embraced me, whenever I have visited with it.

Maybe it is in the unconditional embraces of nature where I have learnt my best diversity lessons. How about you?

Kumud

P.S. Do join us for our community gathering in our weekly twitter chat, Sunday, May 22 at 9am ET in #SpiritChat. We are a diverse group indeed, and are welcoming of all as we chat over tea and cookies. Namaste – @AjmaniK

The diversity of nature… beauty brings peace