We spend our lives getting to a destination, a destination that lies around a bend in our path. When we make the turn expecting to see this destination, we find yet another bend, another “S,” before us. Anticipation renewed, we start again, thinking our destination will surely be around the next bend.
With our eyes focused on every coming bend, we rarely look up, down, or around. We don’t notice the trees reaching toward the sky, its branches giving shade to everything below and giving shelter to birds that fly and squirrels that climb. We don’t appreciate grasses, shrubs, plants, and flowers along our path. Insects and critters living among and under these plants go unnoticed. We don’t hear the sounds of insects buzzing, birds chirping, wings fluttering, and perhaps water flowing in the distance because they’re drowned out by the sound of our own breathing and trudging. The only time we might notice a breeze or rain is if it serves to cool us off or dares to annoy us.
We want to get there. We want to arrive. We want to see what is there. Life will be so much better, perhaps complete, once we’re there. We’ll be happy once we get to our destination. All this means that we can’t focus on what is in front of us. We can’t invest time or energy into caring about what we are passing by or passing through. We can’t relish here and now.
What if we never get to the end of the path? What if the last thing we ever see is another bend? What if our final destination isn’t even on this planet? What if all we ever have is here and now? What if our journey on the path is the point? What would we have to show for our time on this path?
©Living off Island, Writing Wahine, 2016.