Small stream or a spirituality (part 1)
I went for a walk in my local woods at dusk today. That always helps me relax and gather my thoughts. I was thinking about what I should write about today — I always have several subjects ready as drafts and was deciding which one I will work on this afternoon. I came upon this stream above, and I was really surprised by it. Surprised, I mean just by the fact that it was there. Usually, in this spot there is only mud and some puddles, but today there was actual water flowing there. And merely seeing that stream in a place where it shouldn’t be a stream, led me to think about spirituality and I decided on the spot to write about now.
For a long time, I couldn’t understand what other people meant by spirituality. I took pride in myself for being cold, rational, and not given to any sentimental feelings, and that concept was beyond my comprehension. Also, it could be that to genuinely feel anything, I needed a chemical stimulant for my brain — in my case, alcohol — which in turn led to my addiction. I saw spirituality as a weakness of will and mind, a vague and too broad of an idea to cover feebleness with irrationality.
That changed. I am sure when and how, but I started to notice my reactions that led to emotions that I couldn’t place or understand. But those emotions were pleasant, uplifting, and made me happy — in a way that I couldn’t ignore. It took me a while to admit to myself that what I experience and enjoy is spiritual, even transcendental. And that I am a spiritual person. I was delighted in it so much that I embarked on internal discovery for foundations to my newly found incorporeal sensations.
For me, spirituality mostly equals nature, or I should say, all-encompassing NATURE. Just being outside, no matter where or when or what season, calms me down. My thinking becomes clearer, my thoughts become more cohesive. Many times I just stop by a particular tree, or by a particular stream, or by a particular shrub, or by particular grasses in the field and just stare at it. I don’t even think that much then, just watch it. I register seasonal changes and yearly transformations in the small but comfortable natural world of my surroundings. And I am lucky that no matter which way I’ll go, there are forests, and fields, and marshes, and rivers, and lakes and parks all around where I live.
I also find spirituality in art, or I should say, in a certain ART. It is a lot more time-consuming and difficult to find it than in nature, but the rewards are just as amazing. No matter if it is a book, or a sentence from that book, a painting or a fragment of a painting, a song or a unique harmony or melody from that song. I feel connection and oneness with the creativity and imagination of an artist. I feel understanding and an urge to dream up and invent something peculiar myself. It is that beauty, that can be in many diverse forms and mediums, that gives me goosebumps.
And there is a spirituality in what I see in other people, or I should say in a certain group of PEOPLE. There are people whose gentleness and sensitivity toward other people, animals, nature, or ideas and experiences astound me. Their willingness to understand and learn and to share it with others is still beyond my ability to do the same. But just by seeing their efforts, always kind and warm, makes me want to give humanity another chance. The inner peace that I just started to experience on its surface makes all my efforts worthwhile. That is my goal — to be as I am and yet to be at peace with myself and the world around me.