Last weekend as we were hiking along the lake at Leiptnitzsee (ok, yes I know its a bit redundant so say both lake and see…moving on). As we were hiking along I stopped dead in my tracks in front of these two trees. I was taken aback. Look at them! I exclaimed to Ana and she made her way back to where I stood.
“Look!” I said, “they are two completely different trees and they have grown up together and entangled.”
I looked up…
They wrapped around each other, collided with each other and both were thriving full trees. They had started together, morphed together and continued to thrive in the midst of the forest just around the lake. It took my breath away.
I can’t fully name why I was so moved by this sight.
Was it because we really aren’t allowed to embrace each other right now? I am such a people person it seems especially cruel to me right now, this world around us.
Was it because I feel so great in my own relationships? Ana and I continue to grow up around each other and also take time to embrace around one another. We are totally different and yet it seems to work really well. In my other relationships too I am feeling as if the world is working as it should for the most part except for the whole pandemic thing.
Was it because of the colors and light and the textures and the green? Could be.
Was it because in a world of such weirdness it seemed just right and beautiful? That seems to feed into everywhere else.
But I was taken with the sight. I drank it in. I took pictures and waxed and waned about it. I theologized about the moment. I thought of the magnificence of creation and what it means to adapt in the midst of all that is and all that will be.
We are constantly needing to adapt these days, to weave and grow together. While we can’t be so close we desperately need each other and creation around us. It is like the air we breathe.
It’s kind of like when this little guy, one of the kiddos I nanny, needs to sleep on me. It isn’t always but when he needs the contact nothing else will do. W is 11 months and for the most part does well in figuring himself out and differentiating himself and yet every once in a while, nap time can only happen when entangled.
This particular day last week, I tried to put him in his crib at least four times and after the fourth time went bust I just left him on me, breathing in deep sleep. And in that moment I realized it was doing me good too. I just sat in silence, feeling his little body on mine and taking in the comfort of his warmth. He needed human contact to be ok in the world and its really a good reminder of what we all need every once in a while. We need to be close, entwined in order to thrive even more fully. We can rest more fully if we know someone has us fully. Our adaptation is because of one another and yet we necessarily need to adapt to the world around us. It is what makes us glorious beings. We are resilient and thrive around creation and because of creation. Our closeness only allows us to thrive more.
At the same time I was listening to a podcast about the state of flow and it has fully caught my attention. The idea of the state of flow is that time when you are fully consumed by what you are doing. Time slips by unnoticed and you are completely in tune with what is before you. Time either speeds up or completely slows down. Us religious folk might even call it “Thin space.” Everything else falls away. Its that moment that you are so into a project that you don’t realize that you are hungry until hours later or you haven’t noticed the sun set. Your whole body feels on a different zone. You have been totally consumed by the task in front of you. The ideas flow. In that state, you are most yourself too.
There are articles upon articles about how to induce this state but it really seems simple. It is space plus the thing you love plus more space for creativity and the time set aside minus the distractions. This means no phone, no tv before you, no extras around you and all the time you need.
Also an adaptation during this time. Our spaces are different. Our spaces are limited. Our capacities are different and compromised. There are worries and anxieties we didn’t have before. It is ok to not be productive. This is real. The coaster is completely exhausting.
And yet there is potential for entwined life and flow.
Just some ponderings…what do you think? How does this play into your spirtuality?