Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring Is In The Air.

Walking out of doors today one could smell the jasmine blossoming along every street corner and the orange blossoms, sprinkled here and there, beginning to bud. The skies have been heavy with rain the last few days but today the sun is shining and the air is crisp and clear. There's nothing like a good rain to wash away the soot, pollen, and smog of city-life. As one passes a corner of pines there are two squirrels playing in the long grass. It's funny how one sees a few squirrels at this exact spot many times when walking by. They have become quite accustomed to people and are not easily spooked. One can not be sure as to whether they are the same squirrels each time or not, but there they are, searching, playing, and eating. As one stands there watching them the sunlight becomes apparent. How it washes over the landscape and creates such a stark contrast of shadow and vivid highlights. In moments like these it's almost as if light is the main attraction and all else is simply there to reflect and project it. The way this light sets the grass aflame and how the squirrels seem to be held motionless in its grasp. Today, that light was all there was, and it knew no boundaries.
How is it that we humans live so effortlessly within the confines of our own thought process? Like the steep banks of a river directing every twist and turn of water, what we think becomes the reality that guides all our action. Could one simply say it is "our nature" and push the question aside? Nature or not, there is certainly something to be said for becoming aware of this "nature" of ours. Not because you have to become aware, or you should, that is far to unfortunate to believe. No, I mean more along the lines of coming across something you've never noticed before, and doing so all by yourself. There it is one day, right before your eyes, and you look at it, study it, not because you want or need something from it, but because it is like nothing you've seen before. It simply interests you. Curiosity is a totally different relationship with oneself because there is no reward, you're not being curious because it will take you somewhere else. You are simply curious, interested, and paying attention. If one were to be so curious, one would be a guest in the house of their own mind, watching, observing how things work in this marvelously mysterious, or not so mysterious, place. And the mind would have nothing to hide, it would simply be at work, doing what it does as one observes its every movement. The one observing receives nothing and the mind receives nothing, there is no exchange. And yet, one is no longer blindly bound to the confines of thought, for no one is bound to that which they are aware of.
The two squirrels were suddenly off and as one began to walk again the sunlight warmed one's forehead. It was the sunlight of the coming spring, the sunlight of warmer days ahead. The busy street went momentarily quiet as the light turned red and the traffic stopped. Several people holding hands walked by and their laughter and expression-filled faces could be heard and felt. Everyone, and everything, seemed delighted to be outdoors. Another jasmine-filled breeze swept down the narrow road and the black birds squawked over head. Their calling out seemed to exclaim, to everyone who could hear them, that jasmine was not the only thing in the air today.