Last week I attended orientation for Bainbridge Graduate Institute as a member of Cohort 10 (C10). On the third day, we were asked to have a “silent morning” and reflect on why we have chosen this path. I found a large rock on the shore of Channel Rock and sat there. The following short story is what came to mind as I reflected and meditated:
I didn’t end up where I thought I would. But when I arrived, I knew this was where I needed to be. It wasn’t the view, or the sounds, or the sun that brought me here. In fact, it was slightly cold, slightly murky, and slightly dark. No, it wasn’t those things, but rather it was the feeling that this is where I belonged, here, in this moment—the feeling of peace.
Not long after I arrived did I become acutely aware of the living and non-living beings who welcomed me into their company. “Strangers we are not,” they told me. “For we have been here all along, waiting for your arrival. Welcome.”
Closing my eyes, my consciousness transcended from the acknowledgement of those around me to the connections we share. “We’re not here for you,” they explained. “And you’re not here for us. We’re just here…existing…for each other. For without me there is no you, and without you there is no me. We all come together, and through appreciation, we combine to make this world beautiful. Remember that, as you pursue all of your endeavors. We may appear to be stationary, but we arrived here too, just as you did. We will continue to exist, and the things we do, however inconsequential they may seem, will affect you; just as the things you do, however inconsequential as they may seem, will affect us. Keep that close to your heart, mind, and soul thus we may continue to not only co-exist, but co-appreciate. And please, remember to come visit, for we love you more than you could ever know. If not us, our descendants will be here to welcome back you and yours. Peace.”
So I sat and I thought…and sat…and thought…
The word slight, which I used earlier, suddenly became more significant in my thoughts. Earlier I used slight to describe what I was sensing. Now I realize that it being slightly all of those things helped me reach a higher plane of consciousness. The temperature was just cold enough for me to breathe more shallowly. The wind blew just hard enough for me to feel it. The water flowed just loud enough for me to hear it. The small rocks shifted under my feet just enough to make me feel unsure. The sun was just high enough for me to notice the darkness. They all came together for me to take notice of everything around me. They came together to say, “Hey, we’re here,” and nothing more… “We’re here.”
I guess the word I was looking for was gentle. No, better yet…peace.