Separating oneself from the natural, real world is like uprooting a plant,
putting it in sandy soil,
watering it only to keep it alive:
you may find yourself growing,
but there will always be something beyond,
another sort of subtleness,
and you may find after many years that something is missing,
but you don’t know what it is,
or where it went.
And when you wake up every day,
inside of a room constructed,
and stare out into an environment of square houses and buildings,
where everything you see has been tamed or conjured by a human hand,
you may feel some sort of longing,
but like the uprooted plant you are,
your roots have withered,
and your leaves have curled and dried up…
Even in this moment, the spark of life within remains.
Take this precious spark,
like the last glowing ember in a steadily darkening forest,
and hold it close to you.
Nurture it, and watch it grow to a tiny flame.
Feed it, and it will grow into a blaze of wonder,
and one day you will find enjoyment in every moment;
in a dew drop,
in the crisp air of a fall morning,
or the deep blue of an August day’s sky.
In these moments remember to pause,
and maybe to not do anything at all.
You might find,
in the echoing silence of your mind,
that these moments are all you will ever need.
Hudson Gardner studies Psychology and Buddhism at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. You can view more of his photographic portfolio on his website.
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