Life isn’t what it used to be blurted out my aunt. Jobs are scarce, and so is money. All we get are troubles—in our families, communities, and country. Even the world is plagued with a myriad of problems-- what‘s the world turning out to be, she wails! Even God seems invisible she complains.
I walked over to the window…...not out of disrespect— actually; she was really talking to herself or rather to the onion she was slicing to bits oblivious of my presence. Gosh, I hope that tirade doesn’t get on the dish she’s cooking for dinner tonight. Well, looking out the window didn’t show me the solutions to her world problems. But it appears to be a familiar way for many people who resort to gazing out to the far distance-- to free one’s mind of minute distractions that cloud the main issue at hand. There’s something about it that calms the mind or so it seems. The view outside my window was absolutely nothing new – the tall mango tree of my neighbor, occasional cars passing by, street cats scavenging the garbage cans, a person here and there heading for the corner store for some stuff, and my dear old tall Indian tree its topmost swaying to the wind – and which leaves I can touch with my fingertips. It’s standing so close to my window.
I think it’s an astonishing sight to behold and I get that stuff everyday here at this particular window--- ordinary mundane stuff and yet awesome to my mind. I may seem crazy to some or maybe silly but in those simple ordinary things I see the true significance of my own life. With my eyes, I saw how my good neighbor nurtured her mango tree from sapling to a mature fruit bearing tree it is now. How untiringly she watered and trimmed the plant day after day always amazed me. With my ears, I hear that same blue car driven by the doctor who lives at the far corner end of my block always passing by my house at this same time everyday. With my nose, I can tell that the street cats gorge on a fiesta of spoiled food in the garbage cans again. I can hear myself call out a delighted reply to my friend’s warm greeting on her way to the store for her regular bread buns for this morning’s breakfast. And as I stretch my hand out to touch the leaves of my Indian tree, I feel its life in the smoothness of its dark green leaves flowing on to mine. All this is my world – is part of me.
These things and more tell me I’m-- alive! With the wondrous gift of my senses I stay in touch with the world around me--- attuned to who I am in this arrangement of things in my own world. Of course it’s not a perfect one. If it were, there would be no need for plans and dreams. Have you ever thought about this --- that life’s imperfections create the right environment for growth, aspiration, development, exploration, expansion, advancement, improvement, progress— whatever else it may be called? You see these so-called ‘imperfections’ are the very ones which push us to be better or best— it moves us to seek our fullest potential… seek the brightest star in the firmament and make it our own. It makes us heroes bigger than life. It leads us to build dreams and bridges to other lands and people. I see imperfections bring the world together sharing the same goals and aspirations, hopes and dreams—perhaps seeking perfection, too, if minds are allowed to soar even farther.
So this is what I have – this is what I hold in my hands. No, I do not aspire to be the greatest in the universe but simply to be greatest in my own tiny world-- greatest in the sense that I can see the beauty of my small life—in its ordinariness day after day. Great in the humble realization that I belong, rightfully belong, here where I am at in the present time and space of my existence -- great for the knowledge and understanding gained in recognizing this wonderful gift of life and gratefully bask in its eternally unconditional flow of blessings. I here now stand in great awe of such Magnificence from the hand of the Divine. And I know that my life and I believe of many others too -- mundane ordinary imperfect life --is made tremendously awesome by it-- Truly awesome!!
posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 3:29 PM