Sunday, 5 April 2015
Kata sat on a rock at the water's edge, looked out across the flat expanse of the sea, and listened to the gentle lapping of the waves as they broke idly onto the shore. It was hard to imagine that two days ago, the ocean had been stirred up into a wild frenzy by a wind that had rushed across the water to meet the land, where it threatened to tear out all of the trees by their roots and hurl them into the air. The sea was certainly a capricious beast that could never be tamed, she thought.
A few years before, Kata had lost her father to one such storm that rolled in during the spring. A fisherman, her father had been out in his boat casting his nets when out of nowhere came the fury of a mighty wind. The skies that had been one moment clear and blue suddenly became dark grey and threatening, obliterating the sun and casting a darkness across the day. Even though her father worked furiously to haul his nets back in, little did he know that it was already too late for him. Death had marked him as His already. There would be no escape.
Perched on her rock, Kata gave silent thanks for the life of her father and recalled how he would return from a day at sea, scoop her up in his huge arms and throw her into the air. "Here's my most precious fish!" he would shout as he caught her safely again and they would both laugh together. A lone tear escaped from the corner of her eye and trickled down her cheek. Kata quickly wiped it away with the back of her hand and was annoyed with herself. "Stupid Kata!" she chided herself, "The women do not cry for their lost men, they rejoice and laugh in the meaning of their lives, they give thanks for the sacrifice, and for the return to the beginning, so that they can live again a different life", she repeated the words of the elder women. She knew that all life must end and that eventually, everything must return to the beginning, just as it always had, just as it always would. This was the eternal cycle.
These thoughts of her father stayed with her. As she looked out over the ocean, she pictured his face, a face that was lined and weather beaten by the years of sun, wind, and salt spray, and a face that expressed deep love and joy for life and for her. Whether it was the gentle lapping of the waves against the shore that had lulled her into the trance, Kata could not say, but she felt herself lifting away from her consciousness, her soul rising up, as if it were a separate entity from her body. This did not frighten her, it had happened before and now she let the process continue, as she drifted within the embrace of love, light, and well-being that surrounded her. Without knowing how, she knew and felt that the love emanated from her heart, that her heart was the source of an infinite amount of love, and that this love needed to be released back into the universe. There was no question for Kata on this, for her, it was the absolute truth without question. She had felt this sensation before and each time it occurred, and it did ever more frequently, she arrived at the same truth and understanding. There could be no doubt about it.
Perhaps it had been the thoughts of her father that caused the next words to run through the conscious part of her mind, that part which retained the connection to the Earth, to the plane of the living. As soon as the thought came to her, she understood and saw it plainly. 'The love of the dead can never be lost, that love which we held in our heart when they were living, lives on eternal within us. The love that we found and expressed through them, joins our own and becomes a greater love, enriched and nourished by them, preserving their soul within ours. It is true for the living and it is true for the dead. This is why we can feel those whom we have loved alive within our hearts. Everything in nature, whether it be tree, plant, rock, bird, butterfly, fish, or barking dog, gives to us love if we are willing to see it and to accept it. In this way, the more we love and connect with the natural world, the more love we will receive, and the greater the love will we have to give, and thus, will our heart grow ever more.'
Kata was back on the rock, looking out to sea. She remained there for a few moments longer, letting herself become accustomed once more to her surroundings, feeling the peace and calmness that ran through her veins. A breeze blew across the water causing ripples to form on its surface, ripples that one day would become mighty waves. She recalled some words once said to her, 'Nothing living can ever remain still, stillness is the province of death.' With this thought she stood and knew where she would go. She looked one last time across the ocean and smiled, then she turned away, and walked towards the village, where she would buy some bread and some mint to make tea, and pay a visit to the Teacher and share these new thoughts.