Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Living in the Flow

Nature keeps changing. For example, Mirror Lake in Yosemite is now a meadow, the result of a natural process. As the river flowed down from the mountains, it brought sediment that filled the lake in and changed it into a meadow. I loved the lake because of its still reflections of Half Dome and Mt. Watkins, and because it was the only lake in the valley.

At home, possessions accumulate over time, filling every space, especially books. My bookshelves are full, so I resolved that if a book came into the house, then one book had to leave. Books that I haven’t opened in twenty years go away as books come in that I want to read now because of my changing interests.

Like rivers, relationships are always adjusting their courses. You and I have changed a little since yesterday. Events and discoveries have happened and our emotions are different. Each day we either move closer together or further apart. If we don’t keep up with the changes, we risk losing touch with each other.

If I hang on to things like Mirror Lake that are gone, bemoaning its absence rather than enjoying what is here now, then I increasingly live in the past as more of the present pushes them further away. Life is a journey, not a destination, and we’re not the ones in control. If we don’t connect to Life’s movement, then we get left behind. I want to wake up in the morning excited about what I might discover. I want my life to flow with the changes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Native life in the barren Arctic is a constant battle to survive. To the Inuits who live there, the bitterness of the struggle for life is balanced by the sweetness of living. A long life is never assumed, not even an additional year. There is gratefulness for what they have. It is not enough to survive each day if they have not also found something to celebrate.

I think my great grandparents felt the same way. Life was hard creating farms in the wilderness of Wisconsin. Yet the physical life and the fresh food they grew helped them live long lives.

I like to camp outdoors, hike all day through the mountains, and come back to cook over a fire because it reminds me how many comforts I take for granted. The longer I camp, the more I realize how little I really need.

Gratitude is life in small steps.