When I awoke this morning, things had changed from when I lay my head to rest. I was no longer waterproof; and what I mean by that is no longer did feelings of fear, or doubt, or confusion simply wade down my armour in their attempt to penetrate it. Now, these feelings resided inside like water in a wetsuit, changing what was a warm experience yesterday into a chilling one today. Overnight, my mind had fallen victim to the lure of its own dark corners by watering seeds of longing, desperation and uncertainty. Once again, I’d forgotten that I’m not in control of the outside world.
We all have those days, or those mornings when we start on the back foot, our mood determined by a dream we had. Our thoughts want to gang up on us, spawning more thoughts of self-destruction, all this before we’ve even set our back foot on the floor.
Then we bump our toe on the corner of the bed.
“Why?!” we think to ourselves, “Yesterday was such a good day.”
Today just doesn’t seem right.
Unfortunately, it is… but, fortunately, today you can do something about it.
While nursing my swollen toe, I noticed a weathered, brown, maple leaf on the carpet of my apartment. In my normal routine, I picked it up to throw it in the bin but, this time, I paused and decided not to. I spent that time asking why it was where it was – a moment to ‘change the beat’. It had been left there for me to find but, for what reason?
It was in those moments, of studying its dried up veins, that I realised I had become disconnected from the bigger picture. I’d woken up facing the wrong direction and was swimming against the current of life’s river… and we all know what happens to salmon – they spend their entire lives fighting the flow ultimately to end up in the jaws of a beast.
To me, this leaf represented ‘seasons’ – the process of birth, and life, and death; of all that has come before me and all that will transpire after my life ends. It told me to let go of trying to control things you have no control over, to just ‘be’, and be what ‘feels’ right; to be honest; and do all those things to the best of your ability. I was intrigued how such a simple object could represent so much – like us – but in actual fact, it only represented one – to just ‘be’.
Like us, the leaf grows, it changes colour, it expands, it flows in harmony with all the elements around it. It does not tell the wind to chill or the storm to calm, it flows in all seasons (even in their current unpredictability). The leaf does not yearn, it does not get upset, it does not get angry, or place all its weight on hopes of being somewhere or someone or something else. It only changes when nature changes, when nature intends it to. It breaths in and breaths out – like us. Its purpose – to be the best leaf it can be as it ‘goes with the flow’ that nature set aside for it. You see, like us, every leaf is an individual and its purpose is specific and special; and that is simply beautiful.
So, I spent a moment with the ocean, the sun sliver lining each individual cloud to create a landscape, and I remembered that everything is happening the way that it is meant to. I let go of the reigns because, like a wild brumby, life cannot be controlled. In fact, its beauty resides in its freedom amongst the elements, in all seasons, not in chaining it to a reign.
So… if you need to – and only if you want to – spend a moment with yourself, for yourself – ‘change the beat’ (perhaps start with your heart) – and allow your armour be restored. Water has the power to change the natural and man-made worlds as easily as it moves down a incline, it makes up seventy percent of the human body, so you can either fight against it or become one with it. Either way, the world around you will go on exactly how it is supposed to; and as sure as I am that the sun will rise and fall tomorrow, so will you… & who knows how you are going to feel?