Monday, March 2, 2015

Futile Resistance

"Rainy Day in the Desert" 

I woke up yesterday morning expecting the usual 80 degree temperatures and crystal-clear blue skies common to the desert at this time of year; however, yesterday this was not to be the case. A light but steady rain was falling and it would continue all throughout the day.  The sky was dark and ominous and our house was cold and damp. I thought to myself,  "no walking on the trails today."

Since it was so gloomy and rainy outside, my wife and I decided to get in the car and drive into our nearby town for breakfast. As we ordered our meal I overheard the conversation of a couple sitting near us  who were obviously tourists out here on vacation, lamenting their fate as the rain-soaked skies dampened all their well-prepared vacation plans.  Dressed in rain coats and parkas and huddled over cups of steaming coffee, they complained: "If we wanted cold and damp we could have stayed back home - it's not supposed to be like this here in the desert. Now what are we going to do?" 

I couldn't help but smile because that couple so very much reminded me of myself when our family would go on a beach vacation and it would dare to rain outside. My kids used to laugh at me as I checked the weather station every 5 minutes or went outdoors looking up at the cloudy skies and shaking my fist at the rain. 

Yesterday as I observed that gloomy couple in the restaurant I thought to myself, "what a perfect illustration of the futility of resisting whatever comes our way, how silly to shake a fist at the weather wishing it would be better, angry because it didn't cooperate with all the careful plans." 

After breakfast we noticed that the rain hadn't canceled the local "Farmer's Market," so we walked around from booth to booth chatting with the other hearty souls out there along with us. There was  an incredible freshness to the splashing of the raindrops, and the cool air smelled of the intoxicating fragrances of fresh herbs and newly picked fruit - "Oh what a beautiful morning."

When we retuned home we took the time to read and rest on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Then as evening came along we built a cozy fire to take the chill off the house and we watched through our window as majestic clouds gathered in the mountains shrouding them with mystery and clothing them in majesty. 

I thought to myself, "I couldn't have possibly planned it any better than this."

In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle writes:"

Whatever the present moment contains,
accept it as if you had chosen it.
Always work with it not against it.
Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.
This will miraculously transform your whole life.

There are some things in life that we may be able to change - certainly the weather isn't one of those things;  however, apart from the weather, most of the time most of the events of life simply come to us and we don't have much if any control over them - "it is what it is."  Our greatest suffering comes from resisting instead of embracing what "is." Our deepest peace comes from "making the present moment our friend and our ally."  

It rained in the desert yesterday. I embraced the moment as if I had chosen it - what a wonderful gift. 

I hope that the couple at breakfast in the restaurant didn't spend their whole day hiding out in some hotel room. 

Listen to my weekly podcast: "Desert Wisdom"

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