Can it really be that simple? Sometimes I wonder if the answer isn’t in front of our eyes every second of the day, but we just don’t see it because then it would mean we’d have to act on it. And that’s scary. That’s very scary. Truth looking us square in face? No place to run? Nowhere to hide? And most especially, no distractions.
Lately I’ve been thinking that, yes, it really is that simple. I watch the horses munching their hay contentedly in the field. They don’t complain about the heat or the cold. They eat their hay for now, and soon they’ll have fresh grass to nibble. And it will all be good, as it always has been.
|"I see it."|
I see the same for the other animals, too--the tame farm animals and the wild creatures of the forest. There is a certain reality they are privy to, from which we shield our eyes. For a long time, I thought it was because they were animals and we were people. I thought it was because there was a fundamental difference between us and them.
But it’s not that. Their truth is our truth. We could have the same thing if we wanted it. Except for all the noise, the constant, constant noise. And it has to be loud and it has to be blaring and it has to be deafening. It has to be continual, and it comes with glitter and flashing lights and neon colors. It comes with strange and sickly sweet scents. It comes with tawdry trappings and useless trinkets and soulless relationships.
And all the noise! It has to be constant, continual, like a horrific battering ram. Because if it let up for just a moment here and there, a tired head might lift and exhausted eyes might stare and see the true ruin and devastation surrounding us instead of the sparkling cheap confetti. An idea might form. An understanding might take place and it could be shared and other tired heads might lift and see the truth. And “they” don’t want that. Anything but that.
One time I struck out on the Appalachian Trail, not to hike the entire thing but just to camp on it for several nights. It was mid spring. The cold brooks were running like whitewater torrents, and the black flies were merciless. There was no one else around. Like any outdoor living, it was tough and there was a lot of work involved, but it was satisfying and peaceful.
How can I put this? Eventually things just started to look different. The colors were more vivid. My eyes began to pay much more attention to the terrain around me, and I could easily pick out the safest route and see tiny differences in the shape of the paths and soil. Instead of thinking in a linear pattern, I began to think in a circular pattern. I stopped separating the brook from the deep forest from the campsite. It was all just one thing. I settled into it and felt a great peace.
Then it was time to go “home.” I’ll never forget how the city looked to me that day, how it smelled, how the people smelled. All the buildings looked smaller than they did before I had left for my trip. At first I thought I was imagining things, but each building seemed tiny. I parked my car on the side of the road and just stared at a building. Imagine my surprise when it started to wave just a tiny bit back and forth right in my eyes! It was almost as if it were a hologram and not a real building. It was almost as if it wasn’t truly there. It was like a shaky image on an old television screen. It was almost as if it were just an illusion.
I thought I must be going crazy, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I decided to share my experience with an old trapper. I was worried he’d think I’d gone off the deep end, but instead he just smiled and finished some of my sentences for me. He had experienced the same thing more than once. He just laughed and winked and said, “I see it.” Getting three words out of him was like getting the Gettysburg Address, so I held on to those words with great reverence.
That was 23 years ago, but I have never forgotten it. I know things really are that simple. I know there are those who do not want us to know just how simple it really is. Because then the game would be up and we would be free.