Are you a dog being wagged by its tail? Most are.
It’s overcast so I intend to speed past, believing that without the sun, nothing will shine. But I’m wrong— admittedly. I stare into the still water, opaque darkness obliterating what I might see beyond the surface. As I watch, wondering why I was called to the edge, the messy, majestic forest that lines the opposite shore like a crowded cityscape, points to its reflection, a perfect replica of what I believe I see, lying silently in the water. A mirror image obscured from reality yet evidently just as beautiful. The depth of hues and shades of nature on a morning so still there are no scents, have a message.
Then a croak. I don’t see the source but I know it’s there. My ears tell me and they don’t lie. The only deception is in what I see when I look. Or thinking I need to see to believe. So I resign to be. Ripples take flight from an opposite shore. Tiny, perfect, uniform ripples. Waiting to see where they reach is a lesson in patience. As I watch, the reflection, once a perfect selfie, is pixelated, showing me a new possibility.
Then my attention is intercepted by another ripple from yet another unknown source. Silently the waves converge creating an abstract of that once perceived portrayal and the resulting vision resembles the diamond pattern I recall from childhood kaleidoscopes. I listen to the message.
The landscape is crowded with organisms whose only purpose is to reach for sun.
It exists and co-exists.
It’s competing and symbiotic.
I strive to center myself within natural beauty. I seek out Walden ponds to treat the experience as a reprieve—a solace from what’s perceived to be a necessary reality.
I recall how this started, by staring into an unknown abyss hidden beneath a surface. The subsequent peace that came over me by surrendering to something beyond what I could see, brings me clarity. A reality I could neither picture nor predict as I stood on the perimeter was not evident to me until I listened to the intuitive direction to open the gate and stand at the edge.
The future isn’t scripted. Yet if often feels like the purpose is to outrun uncertainty, strapped by thoughts that are spawned from fears that are both familial and egoic. Children are encouraged to dabble in big dreams while simultaneously plan B is funded. People make profound statements like, “It’s just as easy to fail at something you don’t want to do as it is to fail at something you’re passionate about,” yet the awareness that the former is what’s being practiced, goes unrecognized.
Is failure a necessary prerequisite to success?
Is success a precursor to happiness?
Is happiness attainable when immersed in uncertainty?
The turning point for me was when I embraced the future as pure uncertainty. It’s then that my fear about the unknown vanished. Naively I thought the resulting peace that came with that decision was genuine content. Then I replaced “uncertainty” with “possibility.”
Embrace the future as pure possibility?
That was the “shift.” It was a re-birth. In this very moment, there is nothing but graciousness for what can be—a blank check of possibility. If this is what awareness feels like in the infancy of consciousness, imagine what’s to be discovered next?
And all this from a pond.
Don’t shoot the messenger.
Read The Aliquot Sum, a novel by Cindy Falteich.
Written for the new-adult genre.
Soon to be major motion picture!