We are nourished by the love around us - that of family and friends. We are also nourished by the earth itself, by its beauty, but more particularly, by its life. Seeping in the essence - nurturing the soul. Pulling the stars from the heavens - found in the twinkling of an eye. Absorbing strength from the hills and mountains - courage, and standing tall. Washed clean in the rains. Glowing warm with the heat of the sun. At night, radiating a pearly glow in the reflected light of the moon.
It is not always easy to feel comfortable when one is out on the sea in a small boat. It seems a foreign environment and, at first thought, a dangerous one. But familiarity genders a type of security, a dissipation of the fear. Storms may come, rough-and-tumble seas, navigational dangers like ships or reefs, but confidence increases through practice, and when one knows that one's boat will see one through practically anything, then the tensions and anxieties ebb away like the tide, and a sense of communion with one's surroundings is born. How beautiful the ocean with its undulating swells, the sun sparkling across the water, seabirds keeping presence with the boat, breezes that gently rock your home, or strong winds that send her, heeling, in headlong flight through the swells.
And then there are the nights. Many fear these most of all because of the darkness. But is it ever truly dark? Perhaps there's a moon painting a lighted pathway from boat to horizon. Or, if no moon, on a clear night, a sky full of diamond chips on black velvet cloth. And on a cloudy night? Look for the phosphorescence in the sea. Perhaps there will be no diamonds in the sky, but that is because they have fallen to earth and spend themselves in sparkled sequins in the water's wash from the boat's passage. You want more? Then we'll bring in the dolphiins and have them swim with the boat and play by the bow. As they streak through the water, magic wands of silver light are drawn by their passing. You think of them as playful day creatures, but what of the nighttime when they amuse each other by creating designs - loops, zigzags, spirals - momentarily etched in phosphorescent sparkle, dazzling in their beauty. The clouds pass and the stars come into focus. They sing through the cold ether with crystalline purity. What you see is no longer there, already passed away in previous millenia. But their image and their song travel down through the corridors of eternity, and the soul responds and takes flight and chants in cadence with the singing stars.
Paths are routes, courses, travel plans, ways through the woods or across a field, and - besides all of these - there is a path, a way through the jumble of our lives that we are meant to follow.We are all children in the maze of life. We wander around, trying this corridor or that one, reaching many dead ends, backtracking, and making new forays into our personal wilderness. What we are seeking is ourselves, or rather, self-knowledge. Who am I? Why am I here? Is there any purpose to it all?
When a person is at peace with his or herself, the question of "Who am I?" seldom rears its head. That's because the answer is known intuitively: I am ME - and that is sufficient, fine and dandy. It all comes back to paths. If we, in tune with our inner spirit, are traveling along what appears to us to be our proper path, then we have a sense of rightness about ourselves and thus about the world around us and our relationship to that world.
Are you relatively content or at peace with yourself? If not, then you've strayed into the underbrush. How to identify your path? Look inward. The answers are all there. You do, ultimately, within your heart of hearts (soul of souls?) have the answers for your own life. Who else possibly could but you?
It's true that you may be in such an overwhelmingly negative situation that you can't imagine being able to get yourself back out of it. Then just start, one tiny step at a time, to connect with your inner spirit. Once you have achieved a bond - with God, with your spirit guide, with your guardian angel, or with you, yourself - then, and only then, will you begin to know what steps (again, small steps, executed in patience and with forethought) are the right ones to take to lead you out of your personal morass. And once you have taken even the smallest first step in the right direction, then you will find that your feet are once again treading on your proper path.
(More to follow.)