It was now my seventh week upon the Great River.
I began to see that I was spending more time,
more of what little energy I seemed to have left,
battling the absolute power of the river.
I was trying forever in vain
to read it’s relentlessly changing currents.
I was constantly at odds with it’s illusive depths,
it’s unpredictable shallows, eddies and swells.
I was constantly looking for large rocks
that might jut up from it’s muddy, broiling belly
and crack open my small boat like an egg.
The sheer battle to navigate the raging monsoon-swollen river
was sapping my energy beyond the point of my endurance.
Then, in the midst of this struggle,
just as I dropped my pole into the current again
to judge it’s speed and the river’s depth,
with one weary eye,
I caught a strange glimmer on the face of the water…
The gleaming soon became a dazzling sparkle,
that before my tired eyes
now seemed to dance naturally upon the surface.
I stood transfixed in wonder,
as the shimmering light found it’s voice…
“When thou seeth the bird riding the wind,
Is it the simple beating of wings,
Or is it the rapture and the call of freedom,
That pulls at thy wilde heart?
When thou looketh upon the starry sky of a summer night,
Is it the spectacle of stars without number,
Or is it the splendour and the miracle of Eternity,
That whispers low to thy soul?
When the singer becomes one with the song,
Is it one word perfectly following the next,
Or is it the beauty of spirit finding it’s voice,
That takes thy breath away?
And when the dancer becomes one with her dance,
Is it one foot following the other and the fury of the veil,
Or is it the wonder of spirit infusing the vessel of the body,
That makes thee both weak and delirious?
When thou looketh upon the eyes of thy own Beloved,
Is it the shape and colour of the eye,
Or is it the blinding splendour of Love finding Love at last,
That bringeth the ripened and sweetest tear?
And when thou looketh upon the beautiful face of thy child,
Is it flesh or is it Spirit,
That both cleaves and fills to no end thy heart ?
So it is with All Things.
Be then a Seeker after the Spirit in All Things,
And All Things Shall Speak to Thee."
As these gentle words,
like a thin caravan of pilgrims,
crossed the narrow bridge
from my head to my heart,
the shimmering flattened itself and spread out across the bright water.
I could feel the wide river
pulling me towards her warm busom.
Like a young child to the safety of it’s mother.
The long and heavy pole fell from my aching hands and I watched myself lay down
in the bow of my little boat,
as it floated like a dry leaf upon the river,
my arm now laying easily across the rudder.
The strength of the current seemed to pull my vessel naturally into the deep,
smooth shape of the river’s belly.
Soon I could feel no separation.
My tired body, the wooden rudder,
the surging current, the amber- rose tinted sky,
the cool breeze caressing my face…
In my heart I knew.
The Great River was bearing me home.
From “The Dream Oracle,” by Julian Wilde.