In a perfect world, being in the flow of life would require little effort, other than passion, imagination and creative expression. When creating from passion, life flows with the running waters of presence and purpose, always giving new life to the eternal moment of now. So where do we go wrong when the flow becomes stagnant, to the point of being lost in a thorny mazed thicket? It may be that life has given us a bum steer, or it may just be that we’ve gone off path, chasing a bright and shiny light out yonder.
I remember my parents telling me about focus, and to concentrate only on what is currently in hand. I was the kinda kid that would ask the question.. “What should I focus on if I’m juggling three balls?” Little did I know at the time, my parents were attempting to teach a valuable life lesson on presence and clarity. Something I would only discover much later in life, through the journey of mazes and valleys of death and plight where unicorns shot poison laced rainbows and serpents hid behind the clouds of heaven.
With so many aspects of life to juggle, it’s not hard to miss the hidden traps and landmines that lay in wait for us to trip up on and fall victim to. And so rather than just a fast winding road to nowhere, welcome to the land of potholes and pitfalls into the unknown.
Life is no race either… nor is anyone unequal to another on the path of learning and evolvement, as my friend Greg Calise writes in his article, “We Are All Equal Here”. Yet if you look at the race between rabbit and turtle, where the turtle mosey’s through the finish line, only to find the rabbit sitting in wait with a winner’s smirk. The rabbit says to the turtle, “Well.. since you were left behind in the dust, I’ve beaten you to the discovery of a whole new world”. To which the turtle replies, “Well.. whilst you railroaded my path at high velocity, leaving me lost in a trail of dust, I have taken my time along the road of danger and plight, to smell the roses along the way and gather the necessary tools to manoeuvre around the new world ahead”.
And so along the slow rocky path, the turtle had learnt that the finish line is merely a crossover into the next stage of discovery that cannot be seen or understood, until the landscape and mystery of this world has first been fully explored, uncovered and realised.
And so there is no winner on the journey of life, nor will fast tracking take you where you need to go. It is the slow path of hidden corners and landslides, with many diversions and pitfalls along the way that ultimately lead in new directions of discovery.. in life, love and purpose.
And so with the turtle’s journey, rather than being thought of as a lacklustre slow coach, he should rather be considered as Tempered Warrior! With a shell made of near steel to shelter him from weariness and rain, he cannot be lured into the lion’s den, nor does he have speed to jump from frying pan to the fire, with time for pause before action. His cumbersome and protective home that shares his journey, may perilously take him on landslides of death, yet it may also lead him to nourishment that may only come from the waters below where the fallen path has taken him. I think we could learn much from the turtle, in presence, determination and steadfast will.
Yet it would seem that the path of the rabbit is the cultured meme of the day. Where nothing gets noticed along the way, with the finish line being the focus. “Win, win, win.. I must get there first and win!”, says the rabbit. And so at 100 mph, without thought or consideration for potholes and landmines ahead, off the rabbit bolts to the finish line where he passes the turtle, tiptoes around the Lion and races through the daisies, over a rickety bridge to a shining oasis of greenery.
And so also in life we meet many a lion, and unlike the rabbit we may stop and say, “Hi, may I stay for a while?” And in noticing bared teeth, “Thank you for the tea, but I must be on my way”. And into the maze we go, like the turtle who mosey’s into the dark of night with shadows all around and no finish line in sight. Yet the turtle has learnt that although a ferocious predator, the lion is also a fierce reminder of other potential dangers that lurk and lay ahead. The rabbit could not have learnt this in his dust spinning rush, and so victim he may fall to the many potholes in wait that lay immune to the speed as he fleds.
I’ve met many a lion on the path, as well as a fox or two. A giant, a bear with sharp teeth, a few snakes in the grass and reindeer too. I also met a unicorn once, with rainbows of glitter and bright. And it was here that I stayed too long, in the hypnosis of sugar and light. It was here that I found it hardest to leave, as this was truly the life of dreams in comfort, herd and temporary home.
Yet within the boundaries of the forest, I could see temples of light and waterfalls of long, seeking curiosity like a Pandora’s Box. And so through the tulips of light I danced, over daisies and sunflowers of love, into a world of mysterious wonder.. of ancient rule and chambers of sombre. Many a trick was learnt, through magick and the silence of prayer. And it was here that I found my bed, yet unmade it lay and bare. Ready for me to pack up and cross the river ahead.
So as the turtle seeks its path along the road of rocks and falls, I too trekked my way over mountains that bared landmines and hidden lairs. Yet the surrounds of landscaped beauty that is our Mother Earth, and the bees and flowing waters that held my path in check, kept me grounded in my pain and oblivious to flights of fancy in a world filled with oasis’ of bright shiny lights.
And so it is between tortoise and hare, life becomes a race of first and next. The first to discover and the first to ascend into a new world of more shining lights and nets. Yet it is only in the eternal moment of the present, in hinder and cumbersome tide, where we may gather the tools we need to survive on a new leg of the journey ahead, and into another world of hidden plight.
It is only here that one may find truth and presence, in the detail of life whilst mindful of the perils at hand and remaining grounded in the beauty of Earth. For racing past all that is present, only leads to a false finish of illusion and stagnated life lacking purpose.