Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Changing Seasons

Often we do not have to travel far to witness the beauty that nature offers us. After weeks of putting it off, I climbed on my motorcycle yesterday to ride one of my favorite routes on the back roads through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Soon these mountain passes will be closed as snow will blanket the landscape leaving them impassable.

I stopped first along a little stream called "Silver Creek" to listen to the water as it cascaded over the rocks making the music of life as it wound its way down the mountain. It is difficult not to feel peaceful as the water plays among the little twists and turns of the stream bed.

The little lake in the picture was my next stop. I was struck by the majesty of this place nestled in a little valley about 8600 feet above sea level. At this altitude, summer hides the harshness of winter as water lilies and mountain aspen wrap the landscape in green for a few months. The lake will soon freeze over and the flowers will lay dormant until the spring thaw wakes the spectacle once again.

Sitting for a long time along the shore, I was reminded of how impermanent so much of the cause of suffering really is. We can choose to view difficult situations as seasons rather than something permanent. Given enough time, the current season will pass, melting the snow and ice that covers our happiness, giving way to a new spring where the flowers and leaves once again fill us with joyfulness and peace.


Know that during the darkest times, our flowers and leaves are inside us waiting for the ice to thaw giving each of us a chance for a new beginning. Special places that remind us of this are often not far away. May you find your spot and be filled with peace.

15 comments:

Adam said...

Thanks. That post is motivating me to go do some hiking in the Cascades!

YogaforCynics said...

Hmmm...I really do need to get to the mountains before winter hits...but, as you point out, spring won't be too far behind...

Amanda Linehan said...

Hi Roger - Changing seasons is one of my favorite things, although sometimes I feel they pass too quickly before I can really feel them. Impermanence is difficult to accept, but just like with seasons, everything comes back around. :)

Robin Easton said...

Thank for this soothing meditation. It was almost like a prayer or a wise grandfather reassuring a small child that all would be. "And this too shall pass." It is a prayer or meditation for an often frightened lost world. So so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and made me just feel okay.

This is why I too go into the wild. Nature has a way of stripping away all that we don't need and bringing things back into perspective.

Thank you for sharing such a special poignant time with us. I felt it deeply.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

@Adam
Thanks for stopping by an leaving a comment. This is a great time for hiking!

@Dr. Jay
Each season gives us chance to renew ourselves. If we stress ourselves over "having" to get out, we miss the point. Thanks as always for the comments.

@Amanda
Thank you for the warm comments. Each season does pass too quickly leaving us to choose to make what we can from them. They all have something special to offer us.

@Robin
I am so grateful for your comments. These little trips are the compromise I make with myself since I do not have the luxury of time at the moment to trek off like I would love to.

The trip made me realize that we do not need elaborate planning to find a place to connect with nature. I have passed this lake several times but something struck me this time to stop.

Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention before.

xgenesis007 said...

Nature trips are really great. Sometimes one could do some fruitful self evaluation. Other times its more of just appreciating the beauty of it.

In Singapore, there's too much buildings and all that city life. One has to travel to neighboring countries to see beautiful things.

I so miss my hometown in Cebu, Philippines, where there's still good nature to see.

Thanks for sharing and more power to you and your blog.

Julie P said...

Beautiful photographs, Roger. I love the changing seasons and I think they do remind us to be thankful for who we are and what we have. There is great beauty out there in nature and I know I always feel better for going for a walk in amongst it all.

Take care

Julie xx

Teresa Silverthorn said...

"We can choose to view difficult situations as seasons rather than something permanent."

Love this.

Btw, me and hubby are heading in your direction in Oct. Going to Santa Fe for a week ;)

Joeshico said...

I am lucky to live near the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes of New York, the Adirondack and Catskill mountains. I get to see the seasons change and enjoy the thousands of life forms that surround me. Thank you for the reminder, sometimes I just forget how lucky I am.

dcrelief said...

You have inspired me to take a road trip...if only for the day!

Peace, Dixie

morrow said...

Beautiful soothing words.

I like the idea of things of the ups and downs of your life as season. Helps not dwell on the negative and appreciate the positive that will come. Very hopeful way of looking at things.

Tess The bold life said...

This is awesome! My husband lost his job 5 months ago. No luck with finding one so he decided to create his own work. He's in the process of buying a business and inviting old clients to this one.

During his 5 months he began walking 5 miles a day and meditating after. He lost 15 lbs. got clear on his plan and is now reaping rewards.
Again great post.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

@Xgenesis007
It can be difficult to find places like the little lake in big city but I am glad you are able to travel to regions with less activity.

@Julie
Thank you for the nice comments. Taking these little trips is very inspirational for me. I was able to finish three columns the next day as well as this and posts on my two other blogs. Now I need a vacation.

@Teresa
So many times we take temporary situations and hold on to them as if they were going to be with us forever. Santa Fe is a great place to get away. If I were closer we could meet for coffee. Thanks so much for the friendship.

@Dixie
Let me know how the trip was. Without these little getaways I would be more nuts than I am already. Thanks for all the wonderful comments.

@Morrow
When we let our emotional seasons pass, we realize that that is all they really are. Some are harder than others but they will pass if we let them. Thank You

@Tess
Sometimes when one door shuts more are ready for us to open. I wish you and hubby great success with the new venture. Necessity can be a great motivator. Thanks for the kind comments

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

That's such a beautiful post and way to view suffering. I like the comparison to seasons & nature --- it makes times when I've suffered seem more beautiful and necessary.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

@Megan

Thank you for stopping by. Viewing our suffering as seasons helps us realize that they will pass in time if we just let them.