This scene of our littlest grandchildren so earnestly at work moving sand this way and that and the Mary Oliver Poem, Song Of The Builders collided in my mind on an early morning, just past sunrise, this week.
As Mary Oliver sat one morning to contemplate God she witnessed a grasshopper hard at work moving grains on a hillside. She see’s both humility and great effort in the grasshopper’s task.
It makes me question my efforts and actions. Am I fully engaged in the task? Or am doing it distracted and with little effort. If I use tennis as an analogy, am I holding the racket and taking a full swing (with follow through) or a half swing. Our little boys, shovels in hand, dive into the sand with great passion. Where is my passion? Am I following it?
The Pathwork teaches us the importance of finding our unique life’s task and suggests that we hold our deepest passions close to us. If we need to get attention or credit for them it disperses the energy. The motives may become mixed and the effort not sincere. In the world of Facebook, instant gratification and sharing – are we sincere in our efforts or are they for show? How would each of us feel differently and contribute to the world differently if we quietly and humbly, but with great passion moved our mountains each day? I wonder what the gratification would feel like inside? Perhaps like a soft warm glow spreading across the chest of the body – like this sunrise spreads across the sky gradually warming the day?
These boys expect either the waves will wash away their work or at the end with great joy they will smash what they have built. It is the joy of the process and not the outcome that matters. There is no meaning beyond what they are doing RIGHT NOW. How often am I rushing through what I am doing, eating, working, loving, all of it. Trying to get where?
Have we found our life’s task? Are we, each in our own way, building the universe as Mary Oliver hopes? What does it feel like when you are fully committed and doing the work you were meant for? I have experienced it and it is full of joy, presence and aliveness.
I hope more of this for myself and for each of us or that we might each find what is in the way. Edgar Casey was known for saying that all stumbling blocks are actually stepping stones. And that adversity is the key to spiritual development.
As I write this blog I issue a quiet and humble prayer to the universe. “May each of us find our next stepping stone and bring us closer to you”.
Here is the poem by Mary Oliver:
Song Of The Builders – by Mary Oliver
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.