As spring unfolds we are reminded of the old adage “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” Though typically associated with the month of March, we’re finding it applicable to a week or even a given day. One can only imagine Mother Nature kicking back with a cup of tea- hot or iced, depending on the time of day- and having a good laugh as we find ourselves overdressed, underdressed, over-prepared or underprepared and our immune systems thoroughly confused by whatever curveballs she throws at us.
In Walden, the classic recounting of the two years and two months “he lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house he had built himself, on the shore of Walden Pond,” Henry David Thoreau shares this sentiment-“Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it. We need the tonic of wildness,-to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us. We can never have enough of Nature.”
We may never have waded alongside the bittern and meadow-hen and we’re pretty sure we haven’t heard the booming of a snipe but we can only meet Thoreau’s words with an awe-inspired and adventure seeking WOW! Very often our quest for Satya or Truth is inextricably linked to a quest for control-to control our life and all the variables in it. The more we know, the more we create a sense of order- knowledge truly becomes power – over our circumstances, situations and even those closest to us. The idea that we can not only accept that some stones will remain unturned but actually celebrate it, to savor the mysterious and wild, goes well beyond knowledge-it is true Wisdom.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali presents the yamas and niyamas, the restraints and non-restraints, respectively. One of the niyamas, Ishvara-Pranidhana, is the surrender to something bigger than yourself. Classically considered a supreme being, the divine or God, you may certainly associate the “something bigger” as energy, nature or some other force. In the surrender to something bigger, the acknowledgement of unexplored forests and meadows which surround it we are able to see that the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts- beyond the human we see humanity and beyond the man we see mankind.
Shh, shh, shh. Listen. Do you hear that? Is that Mother Nature laughing?