I wanted to write a little bit about this log that I came across the other week as something about it fascinated me. I know, it's a log, right! Just hear me out.
While out running along the river path near my home last week I decided to take a break and sit by a small waterfall running off the main river. I had only completed a half marathon 2 days earlier so it was a recovery run and I didn't want to over do it.
It was a lovely, sunny day so I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of the flowing water. It was very relaxing and I sat there for about 10 minutes enjoying the peace. I was brought back to reality by my watch, rudely interrupting me and trying to auto save my run.
I stood up and pressed the button to start the run again when something caught my eye.
Pausing my watch again I walked onto the bridge that the waterfall flowed under and leaned over to get a better look. There was a large log caught up against the flowing water, rolling round and round in a chaotic dance. Wishing I had brought my phone out with me to capture it, I stood there and watched it for a few minutes before heading off again. For some reason I had been completely fascinated with this log and the way it matched the opposing force of the waterfall. I was still thinking about it when I got home and decided that the next time I went running I would go back to see if it was still there.
Two days later, with my phone on me, I headed back to the bridge. And to my delight there it was still, rolling around in its endless watery cycle.
So why was I so taken with this?
I thought about it and realised that I was looking at this on a deeper, more spiritual level. I wasn't seeing a log stuck in a waterfall, I was seeing two opposing forces fighting each other amongst the immediate chaos of their surroundings, while just out of reach was calmness and tranquillity in the waters surrounding them. All the energy being produced was achieving nothing. This had been going on for at least 48 hours, that I knew of. (At the time of writing this, more than a week and a half after I first saw it, I can tell you that the log is still there, I ran past it this morning and it is still spinning round and round. Maybe it's already been there for months or years!)
I realised that we spend a lot of our time like this. We fight things that are out of our control because we feel it will give us control. We don't think about how our reactions are affecting others, we just continually try to stay 'in control' but all it does is waste energy and we miss the beauty around us that is so much more important.
I put it to you that we have control over just one thing. Ourselves. We only have control over the way we react and respond to the things that arise in our own consciousness. If we choose to remain calm we will be happier and more content. If we choose to fight what is happening we will get anxious and stressed. Okay, this is easier said than done and I'm going to be the first to admit that I do stress and over-react to situations that I have no control over. But I'm learning, through mindfulness.
Reactions From Others
So I decided to put the video on Facebook. I wanted to see what people thought of it. I didn't add any description, just said that I had seen this and was fascinated by it.
Well I was a little perplexed by the responses I got. Some people thought it was a dog! Now I don't know about you but I am not someone who would stand by with my camera out recording a dog drowning in a waterfall! I felt concerned by what some people just expect to see on social media these days.
Of course some people thought I was over thinking the log and the waterfall. Maybe I was. But, if you are still with me, I'm going to tell you why I feel proud and happy that this event triggered these emotions in me.
If I had seen this just two years ago I would have seen a log stuck in a waterfall (or maybe I would have been the one seeing a drowning dog!) Actually I probably wouldn't have seen it at all because I would have been so wrapped up in my own thoughts I wouldn't have paused long enough to notice it. Since I began mindfulness and meditation it has opened my eyes to so many things, some fantastic, some not so fantastic which I have needed to work through. This simple event of a log caught in a waterfall has made me realise that I haven't been wasting my time. The way I see the world has shifted and in my personal opinion that is a good thing.
I invite you to pause and look at your surroundings every now and then. Breathe. Take in what is around you. Be aware of yourself. I'm not just talking about when you are out in nature. It could be anywhere. In a queue at the supermarket, at your desk or driving your car. How are your next actions going to affect who and what is around you? Take one extra breath before you speak or react.
Pause. Be mindful. Be kind.
Until next time
Lots of love