Today has been a frustrating day to say the least. Exasperated, I step outside to take my ritualistic daily walk. As my feet hit the pavement a heavy sigh escapes as my mind fights to let go of the demands of the day. Everyone wanting something; everything emergent. I need a break.
As I bend down to tie my sneaker I fight the urge to scream as frustration reaches critical levels.
How dare they say that?
How dare they take advantage of me?
Negativity consumes my mind like a cyclone, destroying any semblance of constructive thought. Mentally defeated, my mind retreats to a dark place where creativity and focus are nonexistent.
Outside the house, I see nothing worth looking at. My mind is still pre-occupied with the events of the day. No one understands. They don’t understand me; they don’t understand my feelings. I feel isolated and profoundly alone. The corner of my mouth turns up in an eerie grin as a wave of realization washes over me. It is ironic, isn’t it? I am surrounded by people constantly. There is always so much going on around me, but I have never felt so alone.
Preparing for my walk, I stretch my arms out in front of me. My gaze rests on the indifferent gray of the sidewalk. The cement is cracked, broken, in pieces, mirroring my present state of mind. Needing a mental detour, my thoughts shift to the scene laid out in front of me. The summer air is stagnant, hot, and stifling. I find it a struggle to breathe, held in bondage by a silent force I find difficult to escape.
The trees are bare and still. There is no movement. There are no leaves, the branches ugly and naked. The grass before me is brown and there are no signs of visible life. A lonely silence envelopes me.
My stare shifts to a group of birds in a tree, bickering amongst one another disputing the owner of a local nest. Their shrill cries shatter the forlorn silence. Indifferent to my presence, feather’s fly as they feud over aviary real-estate.
As the argument tapers to a minimal level my focus is drawn to the sky. The sky is dark and overcast. Thunder pierces the air, drowning out the disgruntled “squaawwwk!”of the birds. The clouds seem stagnant, stoic, and fixed in place. I can make out an odd shape in the center where the clouds have come together in a painful cirrus grimace.
I am alone. I am separate. Even here, in nature, I am a bystander looking in from the outside. This is no one’s fault but my own. I have separated myself out of fear and out of the assumption that I don’t belong. Now I stand in a chaotic predicament dictated by my negative mindset.
As my mind dips and weaves from one thought to the next, I observe the last remaining leaves of the tree before me flit to and fro to the ground. The ants on the sidewalk work frantically attempting in angst to drag a piece of bread 50 times their size to a location unknown to me.
Funny, each element in nature, working independent of one another. I am most certainly a separate element in nature’s chaotic opus.
I am ready for my walk; stretched and eager to go. The earbuds for my mp3 player are in place. As the music filters through my eardrums I feel the beat far before I hear the music. As the notes register in my mind, I feel my shoulders relax. Deep breath in…deep breath out…open my eyes…
As if on cue, dragonflies appear in a migratory swarm. I am instantly mesmerized by their grace and elegance. My focus intensifies as I realized that for every action of one, there is an equal and opposite reaction in the other. They seem to fly separately but are beautifully in sync.
Suddenly, the wind picks up and begins a magnificent journey. The air is cooler now. The breeze brushes across my forehead and tickles my brow. It is strangely inviting; inviting me to participate in a wonderfully intoxicating melody. The breeze is a force that commands respect; a gentle nature that motivates me to action. My sneakers chime in with a snap…snap…snap... on the sidewalk. With each stride I feel a spark of creativity grow.
I watch intently as the wind gust leaves me and engages a nearby tree. The branches of the tree sway to the silent beat of the wind’s silent whisper. Trees and bushes alike sway in rhythm. At the wind’s gentle suggestion, the flowers fearlessly let go of the trees, descending gracefully to the ground. The journey to their destination is full of fun and frolic as they dance and sway under gravity’s pull. The interlude concludes with a colorful splash of color on an oasis of green grass. The branches, once foreboding and prohibitive, stretch out in a warm welcome. They seem to beckon to me...”come join us.” I feel the stress melt away.
As the wind reaches a flock of birds I watch their altitude increase supported by the wind’s ample strength. Each bird negotiates turns with aerodynamic ease. Without missing a beat one by one each bird lands gracefully in tempo on the branch of a nearby tree. As the last bird lands I feel my thoughts fall in place; the fog lifts as I become more in tune to my surroundings.
Wow. The sky is now a beautiful beckoning blue. The sun is peeking from behind a wisp of clouds. It is a beautiful backdrop for the birds and trees to dance; dance to the beautiful music of the wind. The clouds, no longer dark, have formed a crescent shaped form which, to my amusement, takes on the shape of a smile.
As I finish my walk, the wind, the trees, the birds, the sky have taken on a whole new look than before. I can now see an inviting feature in each. Everything I see is a thrilling part of nature working together to create a wonderful masterpiece. I love this time of day. Especially today; everything is new and exciting. I have never felt so welcome and alive; alive in this world of symbiotic charma.
We live in a world where the wind is the conductor in a beautiful orchestra. It guides the movement of the trees, birds, and the sky. By actively participating, I realize that I am a quarter note in this magnificent symphony. Together we create excitement.
At the conclusion of my walk, I pause to take in the surroundings. Beauty surrounds us on a daily basis; beauty in the form of sounds, feelings, and actions. Together we compose a beautiful orchestra. We make music together. Today I realize that I am NOT alone. WE are never really alone. Take a look around you. What do you see?