There is a scripture, which I think of sometimes. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
I consider what people suggest life is about. I consider too how even those with all the ingredients for happiness: A family, job security and a place to call home, can then be struck with depression or ill health and so I wonder how then can someone truly be at peace, and if they can, where would they find it?
So we hear arguments as to what life means, what it is about, what joy is, where joy can be found and as this earth and this universe existed even before man, and as the sun rose and the sun set before there were human eyes to behold it and as the tide came in and went out before there were human footprints to be erased from the sand by the coming in of these tides, does it then mean that true life was defined before man was present to define it?
In order to find moments of peace and moments of uninterrupted joy, is it possible that we need to be alone with the sunrise or the coming in of the tide or the freshness following a rainfall or just alone with creation in whatever magnificent expression of it we happen to be situated in at the time?
Despite our technology, which is certainly very incredible and capable of great displays of beauty (think fireworks and theatre and symphonies) we have yet to match the sights and sounds and sensations which nature itself, without any assistance by man or his inventions, displays for us every day and every night.
I consider every moment where I remember feeling truly at peace. If only for a few minutes or a few hours I do have memories of standing still before a scene and experiencing something about as close to peace as one can get in this broken world and every time I was not standing under fireworks or in the audience of a great play or closing my eyes hearing a symphony, but I was always before nature itself…and alone in it.
The knowledge of any struggle had been left back home, any bills which needed to be paid remained unopened on the kitchen table, any arguments waited to be argued for later and for an hour or a minute I let it all go and was simply still. To have that small window of time to feel weightless, free from the burden of the life we have decided is life, I am able to find rest.
Whenever I choose to do this I always wonder why I wait so long to do so, why I have let so many months of living go by without life and I decide as I am still in those moments that this must be what it is like when there is no emotional gravity… you feel weightless.
If this is true, if joy truly cannot be found in gaining more or achieving more or knowing more, but rather forgetting it all for a time and just existing while your eyes follow the branches being danced this way and that way by the wind which would blow whether you were there to know it or not, and tasting the salt in the air that would be spat up by the turmoil of the waves whether you were there to taste it or not and to appreciate the rising of the sun, which could care less if you approve of it or not. If this is indeed true, then this is perhaps the best news we could hear as ‘The sun to rises on the evil and the good’ and even the poor, even the rich…
The man who has lost everything because of the evil of another or even his own can turn his head upward at night and the stars will shine as bright as they do for a child who has never known wrong.
The rich man with a gold ring will see the same sun set in the same spectacular display as the poor man with only a crust to eat.
I have climbed mountains and tracked through bush and you know what? The views were no more beautiful for me than they would be for another…. And no less beautiful. Perhaps the life that existed before we ever did is the only thing left in which its beauty and power and glory does not depend on…us.
And I thank God for that, because it sure is wonderful to know that when I am weak or when I have been wrong or when I am poor and if I ever find wealth or if all else fails but my very heartbeat, I will never be cut off from true life, which is the life God breathed into nature, which existed before I did, which will exist long after I am gone, the only constant which will remain constant no matter how much I fail or how much you do.
So I sit here in a moment of peace knowing that my bills will still be unopened on my table and my text books will wait on my bed with the pages of diagrams and 10 letter medical words which I keep forgetting and I will still need to figure out how I am going to move from this week to next week but for now there is a sun across from me, which is setting slowly into the mountains despite the numbers listed in the ‘pay now’ section of my power bill and there are a dozen birds around me who keep singing even when I cry and I think that the reality is, human beings have decided that life means this and life means that and I will never be exempt from the rules of it all, but for right now I will sit here in rest and in peace because though I am poor today and lonely today, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good” and yes even the poor and even the lonely and nature doesn’t discard what exists only for a moment, in fact, it depends on it. And so should I.