I’m taking a break for a couple of moments from working in the garden. The weather was so nice today, 75 degrees Fahrenheit and just about zero humidity. The rainy season is creeping in and soon the humidity will be draped over us like a wet towel that won’t be wrung out until mid autumn.
Even after living on a tropical island for 30 years I’ve never experienced humidity as high as it gets here. I’m sure there are places on the planet where it’s higher- and thankfully I’ve never been to any of them!
Everyday that I go out to inspect my garden it’s different. It’s even different from morning to evening.
The most obvious is how fast the weeds have grown. Some I don’t mind, like the clover…most of them can usually stay. Then there are the less noticeable things like, a small flower that was open in the morning, has already withered by the afternoon. Unless you have been looking closely, you might not have really even noticed.
Or the even less noticible teeny army of ants that have carefully climbed up to the tippy- top of one of the Chamomile stalks to gather food from the tiny flower buds (not even sure what it is they are gathering). They move systematically from stalk to stalk -working on one stalk and an hour later clambering up a totally different one.
Then there are the garden spiders who begin in the morning with one thin and barely visible thread strung carefully between the Azalea and the Hydrangea bushes. By late afternoon the spider has finished weaving an intricate web complete with levels and now sits waiting for its dinner to arrive.
All these and more.
All these little worlds and realities going on all at the same time here in my little garden.
Take that a step further and think of all the realities going on all over the neighborhood. While I’m puttering around in my garden I can hear Mrs. Umbrella next door-banging pots, running the kitchen faucet. I even hear her peeling vegetables, the peeler making the same sound mine does because the slicer part is a little loose and it bangs softly against the metal screws that hold it on the plastic handle.
Across the street I hear the rhythmic humm of a Japanese washing machine grinding and wringing the heck out of a load of wash, while the old lady that lives there sweeps her steps with an old wiry broom made of thin tree branches. I can’t see her but, I can hear the scrape of the branches against the concrete.
From over the top of the house comes the sound of chanting along with the sharp sound of the wooden striking instrument that is used to keep time. Mr. and Mrs. K are praying for their son who died over twenty years ago. I can smell the sweet incense as it is blown into my yard on the gentle, late spring breeze. Buddhist rituals in the early morning.
Somewhere over the wall and down in the valley I hear the grinding of heavy equipment-men working on fixing the drainage pond to keep the children safe from falling into it.
All of us in this huge cosmic dance we call life.
While I was stooped over pulling up the weeds that weren’t going to get to stay, I was making note of all the sounds around me. The sounds of life. Something occurred to me that had never occurred to me before…or maybe it had but I didn’t really think too deeply about it.
I realized that feeling “alone” is really just that- a “feeling” and not a reality. I know that sounds really simplistic “gee, what a novel thought”…but just wait a minute…
Here is the thing-there are many people who waste away because of this feeling. They feel alone, like they are the only people on the planet with their particular set of issues.They shut themselves up in their homes and isolate themselves and think-why am I so alone? But it’s not true…we are not alone.
That’s just not true.
As I stood there all stooped over-like thinking and listening to the life all around me suddenly…for the first time ever…I felt connected to every thing…and I realized that we were all here together…on this planet…all experiencing life together. No one is truly ever alone. It was one of those “ah…ha…” moments when you not only know something intellectually but you understand it on a level that is beyond that…you understand it on a level that is intuitive and may I dare say…spiritual.
What I just said may fly over the heads of some reading this.
That’s okay .
It might have flown over mine years ago too, had I read it then.
All of this living together is what makes our life. All the sounds filling my day-other people’s lives touching mine…and mine touching theirs, many times in ways that are not even obvious to us.
I have a habit of playing music when I garden. I love Songs From A Secret Garden and I thought of the notes flowing from my speakers and swirling around in Mrs. Umbrella’s kitchen while she banged pots and washed vegetables and cooked. Notes drifting up into Mr. and Mrs. K’s incense filled tatami room and becoming part of the prayers.
All of us living together here on earth, our lives interacting on levels that we don’t notice unless we are mindful.
I saw an awesome film not too long ago called “Life In A Day”. It’s a documentary about one day on this planet -24th July 2010. A compilation of home videos from all over the world shot on one single day. It is AWESOME if you can find the time to watch it.
Call it a moment of revelation or enlightenment but that realization has changed my thinking profoundly and I can sense it will be a huge benefit to me from this day forward.
If you are not familiar with Songs From A Secret Garden here is a sample: