Friday, August 1, 2008


The smell of fresh pine, the sound of the fire crackling and the steadiness of the lake always brings me back to my center. The perfection of nature, of everything growing and changing, untainted and miraculous and pure. It brings me to the truth of matter. When you realize the importance of non-resistance, non-attachment and non-judgement. The importance allowing flow in your own life and seeing perfection in what is.

When self induced stress becomes apparently clear that it was just that; self induced. Thoughts, which are just illusions we make up in our minds to create madness and keep ourselves occupied or "prepared" for premeditated battle.

There is something about the constant flow of the stream outside, the river that still runs, constant and softly, swiftly past boulders and bare feet, always; as we go about our lives, we worry about paying bills, and two years from now, the color we want to paint our living rooms and whose birthday party we need to attend. When I create tragedy in my head before it happens and imagine the strength of armor I may need before diving in, the river is still running...constant and steady.

While we're swimming in others sorrows on our rafts of compassion and empathy, and when we go home at night only to drown in our own, the river stays, constant and steady. When we're caught up in celebrity gossip or the newest season of Real World, as we write new resumes and rekindle old flames. When we tap our feet against desks wearing shiny shoes and shake clammy, powerful hands.....the stream, still flows, constant. Steady.

As I map out my next three months and journey onto foreign soil, ingest strange new flavors and scents. Brush past shoulders of strangers and make eye contact with with people whose thoughts speak in a different voice than my own...the river runs its course, the same way, constant and steady.

When I'm lost and need directions, when I'm lonely and need a body to hold and a warm neck to kiss, when I'm screaming with triumph at the top of a mountain miles above the sea and when I wrap my arms around new friends whose names I'll forget when I hop onto the next train....the river is still there. Flowing, never changing, constant and steady.

That's my place. The place I go to in my head when I'm caught up. When I need to imagine peace. When I need to be brought back down to Earth, humbled and reminded that life is fleeting but there are certain things that are always steady...the beauty of nature that is really the beauty of us as people; it's what we come from and what we're made of. in its place. Constant, flowing, and steady. Magical in its purest form.

The river does not effort to flow, it just does.

Constant and steady....


Anonymous said...

How very Taoist. :o) Nice post.

JD @ said...

You are right in the fact that life as we live it today often flows AGAINST the natural way of things. Just look at the booming business of energy drinks. This another way to beat nature at it own game. Sometimes you just need to relax and let instinct and nature take over.

Marcheline said...

Amen, girl. I take my energy from the ocean, as it's only a few blocks away. When I need that vibe, I just go down to the sea, kick back in a lawn chair, and absorb the effortlessness of it.

Rivers and oceans do have moods, too, though - they're not always constant or steady. When a huge rainstorm hits, they get wild and woolly. Rivers slow down to trickles when it hasn't rained in a while, and ocean waves turn into battering rams during a storm.

Those things are also lessons for us - life is always changing, and we can't expect everything to stay the same. It never does.

- M

BurningSky said...

Nice post. I, too, gain peace from being in nature. Sometimes I'll walk miles just to be in a place without the noise of everyday human existence. It's always worth it..:-)

The Girl in the Mirror said...

The only constant is change. :)

Anonymous said...

nice. esp the last line.
no effort, just does.

nicole antoinette said...

I think I really, really need to spend some quiet time outside.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a quote by Buddha:
"if we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change"

michelle said...

very true. thanks :)

Schokolade M├Ądchen said...

'When self induced stress becomes apparently clear that it was just that; self induced.'

It has taken YEARS for me to get this simple lesson!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Chelsea. Nature is the only place I can feel at peace and complete. I, too, had a special place where I would go to in the middle of a hectic semester. It was a lake 15 minutes out of town, and I've only shared it with one person who I thought deserved to see such beauty :)

Melissa Maris said...

Beautiful post, Chelsea. I just got back from Yellowstone and felt like I'd been on a church retreat - reconnecting with everything that matters. You're so right - the flow has to be top of mind at all times if you want to keep your peace.

Melain said...

I'll use that to get myself through the impending visit to my mom's house, which feels much like a foreign land. Beautifully written.

Beauty Blabber said...

Lovely post:)
BF just read it over my shoulder. He says, "deep". Guys.
It really is an insightful post, and I agree about how the river is always there, constant & steady.
It reminds me of a hike to this secluded beach I took with the ex 2years ago.

Classy Stiletto said...

And I just de-stressed in your single solitary post. Beautiful writing.