The River, Falling Snow, and Musings

I awaken to a gently falling snow for the first time in over a year...

I sit in meditation for an hour and hear the words over and over whispered in my heart:

"For God alone suffices..."

I repeat it like a sacred mantra and I know it is true, even if sometimes I cannot see clearly through the myriad of sometimes conflicting quotidian experiences that life continually offers and presents...

I drive out to the river to visit it, in this, the first true snow fall, and it is quiet and still...

I come upon a squirrel joyously scampering across the slippery road and I nearly slide off it, as I try to avoid hitting the squirrel, and I realize that it is the first one I have seen in a long time...

The boat launch area has been blocked off with orange cones. The river itself is halfway frozen - an imaginary line longitudinally bisecting the river. Half of it consists of frozen ice, cracked here and there, slabs of ice precariously perched on other slabs, as a result of heat expansion. The other half, towards the Maryland riverbank, is thawed and looks cold...

It is silent here, the soft snow, gently falling, as I carefully make my way down towards the rocks. I feel the ground shifting beneath me, the falling snow sliding off a layer of ice, and I hear one lone bird singing very sweetly...

I survey a river that is as different as I have ever seen it - partially frozen, and empty, and yet so full of promise and possibilities at the same time...

I reflect on the Reiki Precepts which I have not recited in a while, thinking of all the fear that is weighing heavily on this land and its people - recalling a therapist's suggestion to be vigilant about the manifestation of fear in regards to money at this time...

I feel lost at a time I have given and released so much, that sometimes it clouds my ability to see what I have gained...

I think back to the precepts that very authoritatively remind me to let go of fear and worrying, for they are merely illusions which distract me from pursuing my spiritual path and true purpose...I must always be true to who I am - regardless of the immediate outcome, for the sake of my reason for being and the work that I am here to do...

I know that compassion towards myself and others is the only genuine path that I must follow. And for a brief moment, I recall a scene in the somewhat campy and dated, but extremely inspiring movie from the seventies, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon." This movie by Franco Zeffirelli, about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, was the catalyst for a profound mystical experience...

I walk away from the river, remembering the scene where St. Clare of Assisi exclaims with exuberant passion:

"And where there is sadness, please - let me always find joy."

I drive home once again to shovel, and pray that in the midst of all the sadness and loss experienced globally, and personally - that I may always find, express, and celebrate an explosion of joy - as I exhorted my students to do...

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