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Archive for September, 2017

While in South Carolina, I went for a run in the woods. With a map of the trail system in my pocket, I didn’t pay much attention to my route—taking the left trail here and the right trail there. After a good run, it felt like time to head back to the house. Not really knowing where I was, I pulled out the map. It quickly became clear that a map is only a piece of paper if, like me, you don’t know corresponding points in relation to where you are or where you want to go. So, map or not, I was lost.

 

After some aimless darting, I stopped under a soaring turkey vulture and shouted up “Greetings, my friend, will you please point me in the direction of the Farm?” While standing there deciphering an answer, I felt and heard a big swoop above my head. Where there is one vulture, there are usually more, so I happily assumed that’s who was close overhead. Yet, as it got in front of my vision the huge black bird fanned out its tail, which to my astonishment was white. It then tilted its head to the right, for me to see that it too was white. A Bald Eagle! Even writing about it now makes me tingle with excitement. While it was happening, I dropped all thought and fell into my heart—where it felt bigger than the container of my body. Large enough, in fact, to touch all life and that which creates it. In addition, there was a sense of awe and or accomplishment for being acknowledged by such a majestic bird and all that the eagle represents to me. This bird’s presence gave me the feeling that all my time spent in loving appreciation of nature and wildlife had not gone unnoticed. Nor had it been wasted time, which my ego/personality is sometimes afraid of. In this heightened state of awareness, the way back was still unknown. Yet, returning to the rhythm of the run found me shortly back at home base.

 

This story has two meanings for me. The first, is to never stop paying attention to where you are simply because you have someone else’s map in your pocket. An apt metaphor for maneuvering through all of life. Secondly, doing what you love rewards you with events that make your heart and soul sing. Allowing for this song to play through you may be your greatest gift to the world, whether it pays back in cash or not.

 

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