Try as we will, we cannot know everything. There will be more on the other side, when the veil of illusion is lifted, when we are at last home in the comfort of all that is.
When I was 17 and living with my family on the western banks of Puerto Rico, in a passionate moment, I wrote the following poem:
Oh, for a lonely island lost
For quiet solitude on some bright shore
To watch, unseen, the ocean offer up
Surrenderings of the sea, forevermore.
Years later an artist I knew offered to frame my poem, illustrating it with little shells and bits of sand. I still take pleasure in knowing this came from me at such a tender age. One could say it is rife with teenage angst, the longing of a young girl for her own space, her own ideas, her own life away from parental eyes and ears and minds and expectations.
No doubt it was in part the result of being steeped in a tropical paradise, lying under huge full moons, browned by the Caribbean sun, lulled by the unstoppable crashing of large blue waves on the nearby shore, enchanted by riding horseback on the beaches, cast into a foreign culture so radically different from my New England high school! More likely, however, another thread in my internal process is reflected in Rumi’s oft-quoted:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
For all the delving we do, for all the Inner Child work, the Shadow work, the poking around, the self discovery, there will always be, as Einstein told us, the inevitability of mystery. Sheer mystery. Try as we will, we cannot know everything. There will be more on the other side, when the veil of illusion is lifted, when we are at last home in the comfort of all that is. If Wordsworth was correct, that our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting, what must death be?
I am told that in Scotland and Ireland the old farmers always leave wild and undisturbed corners in their gardens, where they sow nothing, out of respect for The Little People, to give them a place to be. What wild undisturbed corners do you leave within you or within your partner, your children, your parents, your closest friends? What is left respectfully and quietly for passive cultivation, for privacy, for the imagination, for discovery, for serendipity, for faith, for secrecy, for grace, for reverence, for the untapped, for the future, for the unknowable and the unknown?
This is an excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden by Kathryn Hall. Visit http://www.plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com