Spirituality is like a half-frozen pond in late October.
Where does the pond start and end?
What is the pond really?
Is it simply the icy water? Or do the leaves count as they lie littered on the snowy ground around the pond?
When I raise my eyes to gaze at the Eagle Pond at the end of our road–where does the pond begin and end?
The cattails are part of the pond, aren’t they? Green slender rods tilted upward at the edge of water and earth. They are part of the pond experience, the ponding spirituality.
What’s really separate anyway?
Here we see the pond from a second view. Such a tiny inland lake, barely a hiccup two minutes from Lake Superior.
Is the pond separate from the lake, truly? Did the waters that lie in the pond once lap in the Huron Bay?
Seeds and spores and fauna–part of the pond aura. Without these, would the pond even exist?
Rain drips from the sky, creating circles in the pond’s reflection. Are rain and pond separate? What is the moment the rain becomes the pond?
And is everything really One pond-happening? The water, ice, evergreens, cattails, snow, autumn leaves. Yes, they appear as separate things. But if we soften our gaze across the entire scene of the pond, can we see that it’s impossible to separate pond from the surroundings?
Our gaze encompasses it all. One gaze. One pond-Being filled with a multitude of pond-beings.
See the old fencepost? Years ago a family from downstate worked around the Eagle Pond building fences and rock walls. Can the family who labored here ever be separate from this place? Or can more and more be included in this pond: history, grazing deer, wandering bear, fishing children, frogs, drunk teenagers, hot summer sun, skinned knees, young lovers?
My children once played around this pond. Aren’t they still part of it, even though they now live to the East and West? Doesn’t their laughter still resound? Aren’t they pond children still?
Green leaves make up the pond-world, and they turn red and orange and yellow. They rot brown into the earth, nourishing next year’s crop. Can you separate leaf from pond? I can’t.
Part and parcel, pond stretches around in endless spirals of ecosystems.
I once asked a neighbor about the Eagle Pond. He said, “Eagle Pond? Oh no, you mean Timmy’s pond?”
Eagle Pond, Timmy’s Pond…different names for water, leaf, cattail, wind, calling ravens, minnows. Uranium lies somewhere beneath, so I’ve been told. Can you separate uranium from the pond? They’re holding hands, inseparable, all of it. Beyond the labels of good and bad–the pond just IS.
Snow hangs on roots near the pond. Ancient tendrils uprooted from the soil. Would a pond be a pond without the land around it? I think not.
For years I have visited this pond, picked thimbleberries, found eagle feathers, meditated, prayed, watched, listened. Can you separate me from this pond even in my physical absence?
Spirituality is like a pond in late October. Or in deep winter. Or in melting spring. Or hot mosquito summer.
It moves in upon itself like a spiral, connecting all of life. It sings to include everything. What can be left out of the pond?
The whole world is like a big pond filled with blogs and cities and moose and wood ticks and pandemics and elections and apples.
Spirituality is like the biggest possible view, encompassing your fingers, toes, roots, branches, soft belly, grief, laughter, wide gray sky.
It doesn’t leave anything out–it can’t.
It delights in its expressions, even as it hold the world in the biggest imaginable embrace.
Spirituality is both the pond and the reflection in the pond. It’s the branch hanging over while raindrops fall.
It’s the rain dripping on the camera.
It’s you sitting on your computer or iPad or phone looking at the pictures and reading these words.
Are YOU separate from the pond? How could you be separate from it–ever? Once you know or see a thing your spirit lives there forever. I brought all of you down here and now you’re rain-splattered and snowy-booted, even if you’re invisible. You started reading and you came willingly and now this pond is part of you–and you are part of it–forevermore.
That’s what spirituality is here at the pond. Endless spirals of a Oneness delighting in its infinite parts.
Day 12 of a seventy-five day journey to more deeply connect with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.
You are right. Once we see it we are one with it. I have always believed that the music played in a hall stays there forever, plastered, layer upon layer, against the ceiling and walls, never leaving, because once it was.
Dawn, I think you have just so beautifully described the spirituality of music. Thank you for that–I have never thought of it before.
Kathy, what a demonstration of unity, and how poetic. I wonder if you are a writer – I mean, if you have books out there that I may love ?
Leelah, at first I wrote another post describing spirituality but it didn’t sit well with my heart afterwards. So decided to try and “show” spirituality instead of conceptualize it with thoughts. I am a writer–but only of blogs so far. Thanks for your sweetness! ❤
I am a part of your pond and you are a part of my lake. That’s neat.
Not separate…. ❤ Thank you, Lunar!
One pond-happening. Yes. I feel the cold and damp, here in my warm living room ❤
And I feel the warmth of your warm living room from my cold and damp pond. (Wait a minute, it may be my own warm living room I’m feeling, lol)
The warmth of your living room is the warmth of my living room! 🤪
We could keep this going for awhile, Larissa! I am thinking now of exactly a year ago when we didn’t have our woodstove yet and it was freezing cold in the house and I had to leave and go downstate for a month. So am now thinking and appreciating heat…and just tried to imagine you sitting over there on the couch. Would be so cool (and strange?) and wonderful to see you in person. ❤
It would indeed be cool and strange and wonderful to see each other in person. Maybe someday ❤️
In the world of Oneness we are all part of the Universe. What we leave behind whether it be just energy or a legacy in some tangible form is spirit energy.
Our breath, or footprints, our tree planting, our gardens, our compassion and understanding to that which doesn’t directly touch us is spiritually in action; however imperfectly we express it.
As I read this I thought of the ponds at the retreat center where I lived for 3 1/2 years, I walked those path daily with the dogs and camera, I knew the land under my feet rather intimately. When I came back home to NJ, I had the little wood across the street that was my refuge as a teen and became my refuge again, the Muffin and Riley chasing creatures while I observed through my camera the wonder of nature in only a few acres. I gained serenity, I was offered gifts of beauty as well as wonder…
We part of it all. I think I left part of me there yet I will never seen those places again or have the same experience… they served their purpose.
How beautifully you’ve expressed your love for those ponds, Jeff. And I thought you might enjoy this attempt to describe spirituality, to describe Oneness. Smiling thinking of your Muffin and Riley, and picturing you with your camera. Yep, always a part of what you’ve loved.
“Holding hands.” I see the spiritual and physical as symbiosis. Separate entities that are a part of each other, enriching each other. Like holding hands. That’s a beautiful analogy, Kathy. XOXO
Exactly, Stacy. You’ve said it so beautifully, how the spiritual and physical can enrich each other. I think I like the holding hands metaphor too. Thanks!
Enjoying this spiritual journey.
That means a lot to me, Stacy. ❤
Thank you for making this pond part of me and me part of it. Love that the endless spirals of ecosystems are part of the endless spirals of oneness. I agree with Leelah, this was an inspired expression of unity. And the pictures illustrate the lyrical journey perfectly!
Barbara, I thought you might like this spiral-connection of nature and spirituality. And it was fun to go down there and take the pics yesterday. A little wet, but hey, kinda cool. So glad you enjoyed this. I tried so hard to describe spirituality without all sorts of conceptual words. Tried to create a feeling-sense of it…
Your efforts were very fruitful, Kathy. Your words painted a beautiful illustration of the concept in my mind, and the pictures only added to the experience. When I try to grasp oneness I think of the ocean and how you can’t really tell where one wave begins or ends and how it is always moving and changing, yet we still can call it a wave. But your model includes things more unalike, and yet part of the whole. And all your “parts” change and flow through time at different rates so it reveals more of the complexity of the universe. Well done!
Barbara, thank you. I wasn’t sure if the pond metaphor would translate. I like the ocean model a lot because it simplifies it all, but was trying to play with expanding upon it. It means a lot that you would say this because you & I look at the spiritual/physical world in similar ways. xoxo
Thank you, dear Sarah. ❤
I enjoyed becoming part of your pond and snow and autumn leaves today. It’s such an encompassing sense of one-ness, Kathy. ❤
Everything you do and see and say and feel throughout your life has an impact on the person you become, yet the person you are now will be different tomorrow after you do and see and say and feel even more things today. Nothing ever stays the same.
Have you considered taking these thoughts one step further, with thoughts of the pond before people inhabited your area? And when the early settlers first arrived at the pond? They must have left the essence of themselves there as well, which is a part of the feeling of spirituality you sense there today. And do their spirits of those people still reside at the pond today in another dimension?
This is one of my favourite spiritual topics, Kathy. Thank you for sharing these thoughts today. xx 🙂
Joanne, thank you. I am so glad this resonated with you today (or maybe it’s tomorrow in your world, tee hee). Like what you said about how we don’t remain the same, it’s always shifting and changing because of what has an impact on us today. As for expanding this–I could have written a LONG time. It seemed I was barely touching the surface of the pond of life. And there was a Native American trading post very near this pond, according to one of our local historians. So I do imagine their spirits are here as well.
Oh, really? – a Native American trading post sounds so interesting! Do you think you could get together enough information about that to write a post? 😀
Joanne, I don’t think there’s much information available–only one local source (a neighbor) who has studied it. Also I am not a very good researcher or practical informational blogger. That’s why I steered away from journalism. Would rather write from the heart–even if light on facts–because that’s what floats this boat. P.S. I was dreaming about you last night, but can’t remember what.
I see, you don’t like research! I understand some people don’t, but I’m someone who does, which is why a story about a Native American trading post sounds fascinating to me. You are very wise to stick with what you know you do best. 🙂
If you remember the dream, private message it to me! If you don’t remember it now though, it’s probably floated off into the subconscious somewhere by now. xx
It indeed floated off into the ethers. I would have messaged you immediately if it coalesced into something logical!
Didn’t I have a dream about you once, and I messaged you about it? Hmm, something just triggered a memory that I can’t quite catch …
It got the better of me, so I checked messenger. It wasn’t a dream, it was “Buttons” that had popped into my mind, so I told you about it. You confirmed it had been the name of your first pet. ❤
Love the way you make connections to so many things and events. Well, probably because I too like to make/see connections because we are all connected to each other and do aspects of our environment – let alone through spirituality. One question though – are the frozen pond pics recent? If so … brrrr
Frank, I actually thought of you when writing this last night–maybe you had said something in a comment about noticing the connections between everything. And yes–I took all the pond photos yesterday afternoon. Very brrr. Enjoy your beach, snowbird! lol
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Spot on Kathy, nothing in this world/universe is separate, even if we don’t recognise it everything is connected, we are all stardust
I love that, Tilly–we are all stardust. From one bit of stardust to another–hope you are having a good day!
Your analogy is so apt and wonderful – this is a post I’ll come back to again and again. A good reminder of our interconnectedness.
Thank you, Barb. It was hard to try & express this but gave it a good try. I think our interconnectedness goes much deeper than we even can fathom.
I love the poetry in your writing, Kathy.
It does slip in now and again. Thanks, Sherry. 🙂
I absolutely loved your writing in this post!! It immediately brought to my mind the exercises for mindfulness. How everything is connected we just aren’t always able to “see” the connection.
Menza, thank you so much for pausing to share your comment. Yes, mindfulness can help so much to allow us to see these connections. Bless you and yours and ours and everything in between.