Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Otto's Run

Learning from Water

Off to the side of our home, is a bridge that leads over the railroad tracks onto a road which is bordered by deep woods.

When we first moved here, over two decades ago, the bridge was closed and there was no traffic on that road. The bridge has since opened, but the traffic remains very light.

We would walk back into the woods for miles, but only a few miles away is a large stream named "Indian Run", where Frank & I used to go for an escape with a packed lunch.

It is also where I used to take our first dog, Otto, for walks to relax after a good day of work, or to recoup after a bad day. We refer to it as "Otto's Run" as we seem to be the only people to visit there and Otto loved to play in the water.

Today, I took our dog Fritz for his first visit to "Otto's Run".

This beautiful stream just seems to wash everything away. The roadway can neither be seen nor heard from it, the walk there is fresh and never tread upon, and the tranquil privacy is particularly peaceful.

There is something about the sound of water that draws us to it. This stream can be heard from the road as it call out, yet the road cannot be heard from the stream.

There is something about water that drowns out the busy-ness of life and washes away all of our worries.

The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life.

Water begins its residence on earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and streams down a mountain into a stream.

We come into the world and begin our lives on earth the same way. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity.

We are born in a specific time and place, within a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way just as a river flows through twisting banks and over rocks and fallen limbs.

Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility.

When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on to seek a level at which it comes to rest in a tranquil sea.

In our lives we encounter our own waterfalls. We may fall hard but we always keep moving on, seeking our own level and eager to rest in stillness.

Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what’s familiar.

Water is peaceful.

Water takes the course that nature deals it, goes along its path, and does not waste time clinging to its past, but flows onward without looking back.

Water is brave.

When there is a hole to be filled, water does not run away from it in fear of the dark. But rather, water humbly and bravely fills the empty space.

In the same way, we can use our energy to pass the obstacle in out paths, and we can face the dark moments of our lives rather than run away from them.

Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control.

It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance, leaving only cleansing results behind.

When we are able to move beyond our individual egos and become part of something bigger, when we utilize our energy to mute the sound of the traffic going by, when we work to seek our peaceful stillness, that is when we will find our place and we can glisten in the light.

With love & light,


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