“In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East — especially in India — I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening wihtout a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving — it is not in the result of loving. ”
― Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa
I drove south into the countryside, trying to get away from civilization. Sometimes I just feel so oppressed by man made structures, not to mention the messes we make. It often helps me clear my head, though sometimes it can get even more complicated. I mean the forests exist because some people recognized the need to preserve the wilderness. The whole of America could be just littered with fast food joints and run down trailers and shacks where people live in squalor. America has begun to remind me of living in a foreign country when I was a child and having mansions behind gated walls and right across the street shacks with dirt floors and no running water. I did not understand it as a child and I don’t understand it now. Why don’t people see that we are all in this together and that what affects one of us affects all of us?
Yesterday I noticed a small creek running behind a government housing project. At one time it must have been beautiful but now it is choked with garbage. Am sure people just blame the tenants of the development but oh it is so much more complicated than that. I mean what causes people to disrespect the very place they live and raise their children? You can smell meth cooking in the hollows of Appalachia and I am sure just about anywhere. The fast food joints offer a “meal” for under a dollar and for some it is their sustenance!
As I continue driving south and into farmland I see worn down tobacco barns, but next to them are mansions or McMansions, like some people want to yell out to the world that they have arrived. Their lawns are manicured by servants and their garbage hidden away. If I could build a house I would want it to be as a part of the natural world, as if it had sprung from the earth, maybe built into a hillside. Hey I can dream you know!
HOPE…HOPE LOST? What if there never was HOPE in the first place? You sure could not lose it then. How do you have HOPE when it never existed in your world?
My heart grows weary and I feel the need to escape. I long to view the world in simpler terms and yet I know the big picture is not simple at all. It is only simple when I shut out the chaos and only then because I accept that there is, at the moment, a limit to my understanding, and that I must have faith. Without faith there can be no HOPE.
Look at the tiny seed. It is a miracle and certainly not simple, but when I hold it in the weathered and lined palm of my hand I am filled with FAITH and my weariness abates and I can breathe deeply and close my eyes and rest my soul a bit.