Tuesday, 2 June 2020

View from the Crow's Nest: I take a walk

May is over, and my decision to keep a log book every day that month was a good one for me. But now it's June. Now how do I mark off the days?

I awoke this morning haunted by the after-effects of a bad dream, full of violence and conflict. I opened the curtains and saw the rain. This was not going to be a good day. Then I turned on the computer and read about the devastation south of the border, the anger, the turmoil, the violence – all a backdrop which provided a photo-op for the President’s appearance, holding a Bible up in his hands in front of a cathedral. Jesus made his way into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, while the crowds threw down their cloaks to make a royal carpet, but this man cleared a path with riot shields and tear gas. This was a horrible, no good, very bad day in the making.

Horrible things are happening, and I feel helpless. A sense of dread and doom looms like a black cloud over me – is this the beginning of Armageddon, where the last battle between good and evil will be fought? For a while, I wallow in the anguish and outrage I feel. There is hatred in my heart.

What to do in such a situation?

Martin Luther King’s words are as true now as when he said them years ago. But I'm not feeling very loving.

I decide to take a walk. This is my intention for June, my way to mark off the days: I will take a walk on a Valley trail every day. It was raining, so today I would walk in the rain. It matched my mood. But my intention for today's walk was to open my ears, my eyes and my soul, and to dismiss angry thoughts if they arose. Maybe if I was quiet enough, I would hear the Creator of the Universe whisper some words that would help me deal with the cauldron of emotions in my heart.

I took along my camera since it helps me focus on the small things around me – the tiny flowers, fungi on bark, honeysuckle blossoms, mosses and lichens. There's such beauty existing side by side with humanity's ugliness.

I heard birdsong and beebuzz, the rushing water of the river, the raindrops splashing on the leaves. I started to breathe a little easier. Each time the “little angry devil thoughts” poked their way up, I shooed them away. There is a time to be angry, and there is a time to be silent.

Long story short: there were no blinding insights, not even whispered words of wisdom. But somehow, about halfway through the walk, my breathing lightened up, a few tears flowed, and some thoughts came floating to the surface.

The first thought: “my mission in life is to align myself with God’s creative energy.” I wrote those words down several years ago in my journal when I was trying to figure things out. When the Postman of the Universe comes to deliver a message, I want to be home to receive it. I want my life to flow in the direction of Love, which is my ultimate concept of God.

The second thought: as you walk the trails of life, you will often find that you have to make choices between this trail or that one. Which one will you take? Will you take the one that ends up on the side of love and light, or the one that ends up in darkness, anger and hate?

I'm still not feeling the love...but I'm pointing in the right direction again. I think these morning walks will be good for the soul.


  1. "When the Postman of the Universe comes to deliver a message, I want to be home to receive it." What a wonderful metaphor! A character in a book I was reading last night spoke of "The Great Unknowable". A long time ago I started making a list of names for God. I need to find it again now. I've been feeling angry on and off just recently too. Anger is overwhelming sometimes but I don't believe it is actually hatred. It feels like it sometimes. I've only been reading your blog very recently, but I don't think you've a hating bone in your body. There's just a lot of anger in the 'ether' right now. Your post is so honest it's uplifting to read.

  2. Wow, Mina, thanks for that. Yes, it's been quite a spiritual journey I have been on in the last 10 years or so, and that quote about the Postman found me at the right time. Walking in the woods has been so important for my emotional health, but then I begin to slack off, and I become quarrelsome and depressed. In the middle of one of those valleys, my husband said to me, "You haven't been writing, and you haven't been walking, and it shows." Those are my spiritual practices. No, I don't think hatred and anger are the same, either -- for me, anger is a sign that my needs are not being met, and that's when I have to sit and think about it. Hatred, on the other hand, is when you cannot wish good for another person. Hmm...off the top of my head, anyway! Fun chatting with you!