I took a hike in the forest and after a while decided to take a brief rest. I found a fallen pine tree by the side of the stream, and decided that was a good place to sit and take a drink of water and to drink in the beauty. I breathed in the earthy aroma of the forest, spiced with pine and spruce and reached for my canteen.
I took a drink and noticed a rock lying on the sand, worn smooth by years of being subjected to the currents. The mid-summer water level was a few feet lower than the crest of the spring runoff, and now the rock sat exposed on the warm sand. As I concentrated on the rock, I noticed its grey and white coloration, punctuated by the occasional sparkle of blue, green, yellow and red. As I moved my head, tiny quartz crystals embedded in the rock served as microscopic prisms that captured a tiny bit of light and sent back a different color back to me.
As I concentrated, I began wondering – where did this rock come from? How did it get here? Who made it? What chain of events and consequences brought it to this place where it would come under my gaze? Why in the world and how did I come upon this rock right here, and find it worthy of my focus? Working backwards from what brought the rock and me together was a mystery worth solving, and is a journey that covers perhaps four billion years.
With the rushing current playing its symphony to its audience of regal trees and forest creatures, my thoughts became one with the scenery and felt great joy. I forgot about myself and began to think about where the rock and I would go from here, not right now, but in the future. In another eight billion years will I be in the same place looking at different rock just like this one, only this time, the rock is human and I am a planet? I am laughing at myself now!
Taking the time to observe, listen and think of my place in the grand Cosmos developed a sense of unity, if only for a brief moment, but in that moment, I experienced harmony.
I smiled at my new friend and continued down the trail with a greater sense of appreciation, gratitude and humility. Someday, I suspect the rock and I will meet again.
Note: This piece was originally published on June 6, 2016 on the blog Torkom’s Teachings: Building Bridges to Happiness, Joy, & Bliss