A Summer Walk to Dream
by Jim Sun Weed
I walk out into the sunny day, the morning breeze growing sweeter as the day’s heat develops. Over the soft grass, over the concrete sidewalk, striding in my sturdy boots and feeling like good Tom Bombadil, the Master. A small brown bird is on the ground, tugging at a food wrapper. She winks at me and hops out of the way.
Another bird swoops over my head. They say hello and bless me; their language is a visceral one which my body understands. The blackberries, ripe and heavy, and the golden grass gone to seed, vibrate their hellos.
The Earth is singing, and it’s a tune which calls me back time and again to the old ways, when Nature taught us everything, gave us everything.
Tall trees are swaying in the breeze, caressing my vision as the wind moves through their leaves, showing the white undersides contrasting with the dark green of summer growth. I pass beneath a great Himalayan Pine, touching the top of my head to its hanging boughs. These trees, these plants and animals, are all players in a rhythm which is of wholeness and rightness.
I am open and strong. I forget about work, bus schedules, career plans. I stop arguing with myself. I stop trying to define, and the answer is given as I too enter the sacred rhythm.
I visit the old pine trees on Capitol Hill. They were here before white people came to this part of the Earth. I can feel their thoughts telegraphing to one another, preserving the fabric of unity and protection. They are the good old citizens and I am grateful to be walking beneath them. Am I just like a human animal today? I have no creed, only rhythm, aliveness, gratitude and the sustaining oneness-interaction. Just as the trees and animals vibrate in their innate communication, I feel the blood of my body resonate with this vibration. A friendly Douglas Fir beckons me; I run my hand lightly over the rough bark of its trunk. I sit at its base, my head against the trunk, feeling as though we are the center, with the Wholeness choreographed around us. I close my eyes and feel the comings and goings of animals and insects, and the passing of time.
My thoughts melt into dreaming as I fall into a sleep. Nature is everywhere alive; the web of Spirit cannot be destroyed. Sometimes I am unaware of it. Often I don’t understand the significance of whatever work or play I’m doing. But that doesn’t matter. The only judge is me. As I enter more deeply into awareness of Nature around me, I become healed and whole. How have we ignored Nature for so long? What are we learning through our experience of separation?
In my sleep a dream washes over me. I am in a dank tavern, wood paneling, a couple of pool tables, just a few patrons talking about regular workaday things as the afternoon light slants in through the tiny window. I notice a tingling sensation in my feet and hands. Looking around the room I see it suffused with the same tingling: a light, a shimmering which seems to grow and envelop everything and everyone in the room. Is it coming from the spaces between atoms, from the freefall that lends grace to the gaps in our understanding? I wake.
The breeze plays in my hair. A squirrel is looking at me, head cocked to one side. An airplane flies overhead. The sun is still bright and the air sweet and warm; the afternoon feels as lazy as I do. I get up, dust off my jeans, and stride away to the tavern for a beer.