Saturday, October 10, 2015

The love that unites everything

All seems beautiful to me;
I can repeat over to men and women,
You have done such good to me, I would do the same to you, 

I will recruit for myself and you as I go; 
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go; 
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them; 
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.

~From the ‘Song of the Open Road’ by Walt Whitman

This time was different. It wasn't just the pale pink bell-shaped starry flowers that adorned the highways in profusion, the grassy mist-kissed mountain-tops, or the thick verdant woods on either side of the looping hilly roads. It was the simple open-heartedness that we encountered everywhere - at the charming steep roadside coffee-shops, in random villagers who gave us directions to our destination, the small tea stall owners, the priests serving us the last bits of free meals at a temple leaving nothing for themselves, and the friendly hospitality of our homestay hosts.

In the serving of an exquisite home-cooked meal and in the offering of a perfectly brewed cup of roadside tea was an immensity of so much more - a generous sharing of life energies, conversation, heart. A giving of their very selves. So much more than can be matched with the doling out of those little paper pieces we call money. The momentary energetic coming together can only be honoured with connection and grateful partaking and an awareness of the love that binds us all - before we go our separate ways.

Sequestered in impersonal mechanical city lives, it is a clear and periodic necessity, as John Muir said, to "keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." To revel not just in the keen mountain air and crisp open spaces of the wood and the river, but also in the personal touch, the sharing of stories, and in discovering anew our common humanity.