We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~ T.S. Elliot
About a week ago, a front passed through Taiwan bringing in a few days of rain...a damp, coolness descended. Before, it was utterly hot, almost stifling. When the rains passed, it seemed to have taken the humidity along with it, for the past several days have been absolutely stunning. Clear, illuminating a sky so blue, I find myself simply starring upward. The views of the surrounding mountains have come alive, and I stop, breathing in a sight, that brings me, softly into the present moment.
During these days I've taken long walks by myself. Allowing my mind to clear with each step, while feeling connected to the beauty all around.
Naturally, thoughts arise. I smile to myself thinking of a dear friend or an amusing experience. I ponder my life, and the roles that I've played. I'm beginning to see how much of my pain or hell has been of my own making. Oh, how we wrap ourselves around a story, a label, an ideal, as if it is part of who we are. No. It's not. For life teaches us just how impermanent it all really is.
I pass other hikers, and smile...and I think, even though I don't know the language all that well...oh, how a smile is universal, and melts all barriers.
A simple smile.