By Marta Czajkowska
Nature can be a remarkable teacher when we open ourselves to learning. I recently did quite a bit of walking on a short little path in the desert. I walked on that path numerous times a day for the ten days of my silent meditation course.
The little gravel path was delineated with small pebbles and little rocks, up to a size of an apple. One morning, when the sun was just cresting the horizon, I noticed the shadows that these small stones cast. Their shadows were HUGE – easily 20 times the size of the pebbles, maybe more. A simple thought arose in my mind… “Wow, sometimes my fears are huge like these shadows, while the real problem is as small as these rocks”.
As the day progressed and the sun traveled across the morning sky, the shadows slowly grew smaller. At twelve noon they almost completely disappeared… only to start growing again, this time casting themselves to the east of the pebbles. Sometimes, I reflected, the same circumstance gives rise to opposite fears! Wow, my metaphor just kept on giving.
How often do I see only shadows and react to them? What if I could keep shifting and adjusting my perspective on the challenges that life brings? I’ll give it a try.
Being alert to nature provides me with instructive insight. Especially when I’m struggling with anger, worry, fear or anxiety, if I notice and take in Nature’s built-in lessons, I can dispel my mind’s imaginings, which may be untrue, useless or destructive. Thank you Nature for the reality check!