July 4 – Here and There – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Here is always beneath There.

I remember sitting for al one time on the edge of a summer lake, watching the far shore. I could see early light flood the water in the distance and this somehow made the other side seem exotic. Every morning I’d sit on my small edge of lake and watch the other side, imagining that a certain mystery awaited me. With each day its call grew larger. Finally, on the seventh day, I had to go there, and, up earlier than usual, I rowed across the lake, beached my small boat, and sat in the exact spot I had been watching.

As I looked about, the aura of otherness I had seen from my daily perch was gone. I was somewhat undone, for though this far shore was beautiful and peaceful, the wet clump of shore I ran my hand through was the same as where I’d begun.

I started to laugh at myself. For looking back at where I’d been sitting every day, I saw early light flood the water in the distance, and where I’d been living seemed exotic. Now a certain mystery called me back to where I was.

So often we imagine that There is more full of gold than Here. It is the same with love and dreams and the work of our lives. We see the light everywhere but where we are, and chase after what we think we lack, only to find, humbly, it was with us all along.

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