The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salt Marsh Revisited: A Beautiful Teacher

Maybe one of the things I love most about the salt marsh, after spending each early morning for the past week gazing at this view, is how ephemeral the geography really is.

It appears solid, but all of it is in continuous motion and flux, spurred on by forces I might comprehend in a scientific way, but which must certainly exist on another, deeper level.
The salt marsh is a place between strictly water and strictly land, and this river is a place between salt and fresh, it is brackish.
The salt marsh sustains both fresh and salt water life in abundance, a fringe eco system.

And if I think I know what this geography is about, it slips away from my grasp, from my need to pin it down, and presents yet another face, another strand. This is what keeps me enthralled.

The salt marsh keeps me in a "not knowing" frame of being, it is always in a state of constant re-invention, a quick-change artist, a magician.
And then suddenly, the salt marsh is nothing more than what it is.
The salt marsh becomes salt marsh.

As I watched several days ago, a gull soared through the tall grasses and climbed into the sky, only to disappear from sight: it was as if the gull had flown into a slice of invisible space, a "wrinkle in time" so to speak. The gull had simply vanished.
I was flabbergasted.
I asked my self out loud, "What just happened?"
I got up to investigate, to see if I could find the gull. Seconds later, it appeared further down the marsh, dipping and wheeling.

Perhaps there are places where things simply become something else, shape shifters, and we don't want to believe our eyes because it is not validated by science or practicality. I found myself creating numerous "answers" to the vanishing bird--not enough coffee yet, or, maybe too much coffee...old eyes that haven't quite focused on another day...a split second of inattention on my part...something in the way?
But no, no answers to be found really.

When I leave to go back to Pennsylvania today, I'll leave this space behind, but not the intangible moments of "not knowing", and the clarity of simply allowing space for another way of being.

Teachers everywhere!

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