“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
For many years I have labored to find subtle ways of self-expression, always taking a path less traveled; one with no footprints to follow. In doing so I’ve found that this logic requires one to enjoy being alone, to become a companion to the shadows of life and a friend to the mysterious. In small groups I am loud, in larger congregations I am mute. This is my sphere.
I enjoy the subtle things. I have a romantic understanding of life. I see the surface and call it beautiful, I see the parts under the surface and call them the same. I love the hidden treasures I find in life, as boring or commonplace as others might view them. When I learn a new word I am delighted, even though others may think me strange for even caring. I contemplate the understandable, but more I contemplate that which rests beyond the boundary of human understanding.
As I sit and ponder these various nuances of life, as tangible or intangible as they might be.. and I do this daily.. I often wonder about the days of Homer, Plato, Lao Tzu and many other great minds. As I drift deep into my thoughts, I picture an image of a man, perhaps wearing some sort of robe while holding a shepherd’s staff standing atop a hill. He is looking out over a vast expanse of empty yet flowing countryside with wildflowers peppering the landscape in clusters of blue, white and yellow. Green meadows wave under his feet, and the land opens up to reveal rolling hills high above a small river. Mountains are visible, though far off in the distance they look only an hour’s walk away. This land is unknown, untouched by discovery, unspoiled by humanity. Much knowledge it holds, this land with no footprints, and the man on the hill smiles with serenity, as he knows life is truly beautiful if you only view it so.
The man isn’t old, but isn’t young either. He stands tall, with a beard and a furrowed brow caused by the sun. He stands with a pensive gaze, yet a grin is visible. He is proud, confident and intrepid. His feet are rough from walking a long path, and his hands are calloused from hard work. He is conscious of his world, connected to it by breath, spirit and mind. In his eyes he knows the land already, but has yet to step a foot onto it. He respects the land, and cares for his flock behind him.
I long to be this man standing atop that hill in a time long ago when many unknowns existed to be found, without the continuous tone of the wristwatch telling me I have somewhere to be or something to do, and without the daily news letting me know all the horrors of the world before I’ve finished breakfast. I would love to not be able to Google everything, and instead seek out the answers for myself even if it may take years. I would love to not be surrounded by gadgets that only last a year before they’re broken or rendered obsolete. I would love to not walk through a store surrounded by bells, whistles and by people who genuinely have no clue what their reflections truly look like or where their thoughts originate. I would love to not have the world at my fingertips, with keyboards and buttons controlling every desire, want and wish. I would love to be smarter than my phone. I would love to not be so “connected.” I would simply love to be connected to the real world, with my bare feet upon the Earth and the wind whispering in my ear.
I probably sound like I’m venting, though I’m really not. I have learned to find peace within chaos through recognizing the simple, and admiring the complicated. And, despite what I may think, feel or understand, life unfolds differently to us all. We’re never sharing the same experience. In fact, what the spectacular view from the hilltop might be to me, may be totally boring to another person taking in the same view.
In many ways I am the man in my vision looking over a land that has potential, realizing what is good, and what is not good; understanding that at any time it will change and it will all be different, understanding more that the change is happening this very second and will always be so. But am I really looking at the land? No.. I’m looking at life, this life, and my reflection upon its waters.
In my sphere many things happen. I dream, I think, I wish and I smile. Just as well I cry, I hurt and I walk alone often; although knowing that I’m never truly alone. All in all, in attempting to understand the unknowable I find peace. When I embrace this completely then I become myself. And as I open my heavy eyes to my own reflection; to my own soul.. I then become the sphere. Everyday, even in this busy age… I am the man standing on the hill smiling.
In many regards we are all shepherds, looking out over the world. We tend to our own lives mostly but we also must remember that our flock, as large or as small as it may appear, represents the entire world of life. The flock is everything; friends, family, coworkers, and yes, even those people you pass by on the street without a word being said. The flock is you, your past, your thoughts and even your plans for the future. And, each day, how we choose to live whether good or bad becomes our world; our reality, our flock. And, where we lead, how we choose to exist our flock will also follow.. or become lost in the unknown.
Discover yourself and embrace who you truly are, but always tend to your flock; always tend to your world. We cannot exist without each other.
23 thoughts on “The Hill”
Beautifully written, thought-provoking, soul-provoking… Thanks for your words, your heart, your spirit.
Thank you sir! Best wishes
Beautiful words. I know my words might just be another comment, another reader, but I want you to know that I am glad you are finding your ways of self expression, I am glad you are sharing your inner world, for the beauty and romance that lives in you, is now living in me after reading your words. Namaste!
Thank you, and I’m happy to share. Just another comment? I read them all and value every word.. Just as well I’m thankful for every reader.. and I feel blessed to know that my words can reach across the world and touch someone.. Best wishes to you 🙂 Namaste
I don’t think you sound like you are venting. I think you sound like you are romanticizing a time before we tried to dominate and tame nature. We ARE part of nature and the dominating desire has driven us far away from that connected place and the knowing of who we really are.
This is a beautiful post and I would like to leave you with absolute gratitude and love for the treat of finding this message in my in-box this morning. You hit on a topic very near and dear to my soul.
Thank you, and yes that is exactly what I was doing. Your words are entirely true, and this subject about the human world claiming kingship over nature is part to core of many of my writings. We are nature, so how can we exert control of it if we cannot even control ourselves? Thank you again. Best wishes
You are the the man you are choosing to be – and he is a quality human being.
I stood on the hill this morning with your beautiful descriptions and writing.
Thank you! I honestly try my best. All the best to you 🙂
Your words have a way of resonating with me. Always something great to ponder. As far as being “connected”, there are times I disconnect myself from the social media for a day or two or maybe a weekend, just so I can think for myself and perhaps be alone in my thoughts. I resort to the old fashioned pen and paper to capture my thoughts and sometimes later share it with others. Staying connected has its benefits and I just wish those were more in person, but then again we would no be able to benefit from “distant words” like yours if it wasn’t for the Internet. Thank you.
Thank you for the compliment. I am very humbled. And I agree as well.. I unplug often and tune into my surroundings just for a breath of fresh air. In many ways I am thankful for the technology that I utilize, it just pains me to see so many people growing more dependent upon it and losing touch with that person to person contact. But I am certainly grateful that through this medium my words can travel far. All the best to you!
To find peace within chaos – now that is an admirable skill 🙂
Wow! Great post… I Felt those words man. Enjoyed the flow and expressions. Very impressive. Stay blessed!
This partner site is more demonstrative that the one you liked.
Such a perfect feeling of truth for any individual to find within themselves for the their own particular path. Rings of life, understanding, living, experiencing and being, fully, completely alive!
I received the notification that you posted in my email and as I read the opening quote… 11 was hovering at the top of my phone 🙂 Which was pretty synchronistic with my present situation the past few days. This really speaks to me. Regardless of where I go, what I do or who I speak to, the aching to be on a mountain or in the country side is a constant desire. This was a wonderful reminder that even when we do not find ourselves amongst the purest earth, nothing is lacking and all is as it should be in the moment.
Peace through chaos is something I hold for myself and I believe it is what allows me to do the work I am currently doing, so I am right “there” with You 🙂
Love to you Bright One ❤
Very well said! And I know exactly what you mean 😉 Love back to you!
Wonderful. Challenging to mind, spirit, and heart.
I have a feeling I will be silently at times, sneak onto this blog, you have a way of writing that one who reads it (or at least this heart here), is able to reach into that meditative state as I read away. Thank you! 🙂
Now that is a very humbling compliment. Thank you again. I only hope to touch a few hearts and open a few more. If I can do that then I’ve done my best work.
I love this for many reasons… the main one being – I am very sleepy. Simplicity is so often the ‘answer’ and yet we…I… still sometimes get lost in that complex busyness. Bless us all 🙂
I just discovered your blog about few minutes ago.
You have a truly beautiful way with words 🙂
Beautifully crafted posts you write.
Really, I must applaud you.
Thank you very much 🙂 I just tried looking up yours but it’s not there..