Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tim and the Forest

Seems like I'm not the only one thinking of the forest. My old friend, Tim, a fellow Haweater, has something to say of the forest as well. We were born and raised in the forests of Manitoulin Island; travel has never taken away the whisper of the pines in the cold of winter.from our hearts. The arahants too had thoughts of the forest, a place where foolish can find no delight, like unto peacocks in their vanity, but where the wise dwell in harmonious silence, as great elephant kings:

Vanavaccha (Thag 1.113) {v. 113}

With clear waters & awesome boulders,
frequented by monkeys & deer,
covered over by mosses & water plants,
the rocky crags refresh me.

Thag 19 - Talaputa Thera

When the deva rains down and the grass is tall,
And the forest's shimmering, a cloud of blossoms,
I'll sit on a stump in the heart of the hills;
And to me that will seem soft as cotton.

Even the Lord Buddha gave this simple advice: etha tumhe, avuso, arannika hotha - 'Come, friends, dwell in the wilderness.'

Anyway, here's Timo, a bit more of a dreamer than I, but a fellow forest-lover and a heart of gold to boot:

I also had a chance to join some of my coworkers for a day hike up on Cypress Mountain. It was so wonderful to be back in nature again. Part of me was longing for the familiar trees and terrain of Manitoulin Island as the forests here feel almost alien to me. For those of you who may think that a forest is just like every other forest I have to inform you that this is most untrue. There are vibrations that come from the stones, the earth, the trees, the animals; they merge together and get to know each other, evolve a sort of coordinated dance. Out of this comes a background music that is truly unique. When one spends enough time wandering in a forest that music penetrates one's very being. After this one's wanderings through the forest evolve into a harmonious dance; not only in time to that music, but playing off of it, modulating it with one's own movements.

When one walks through a land that is unfamiliar a different melody surrounds one's soul. One's soul attempts to dance along to the echoes of a song that is no longer applicable and the body feels confused and awkward. One who has danced the songs of enough lands though can soon find their body swaying along to the new rhythms. For me, having been out on the coast here several times before, a big part of me is already starting to feel perfectly at home.


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