October 16 – Heart and Path – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
“Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone…. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.” Carlos Castaneda
It takes six million grains of pollen to seed one peony, and salmon need a lifetime of swimming to find their way home, so we mustn’t be alarmed or discouraged when it takes us years to find love or years to understand our calling in life.
Everything in nature is given some form of resilience by which it can rehearse finding its way, so that, when it does, it is practiced and ready to seize its moment. This includes us.
When things don’t work out—when loves unexpectedly end or careers stop unfolding—it can be painful and sad, but refusing this larger picture keeps us from finding our resilience. Then, sadness can turn into discouragement, and pain can spoil into despair.
As the many grains of pollen birth the one flower and the many eggs spawned birth the one fish, each person we love and each dream we try to give life to brings us closer to the mystery of being alive. So, we must try as many times as necessary until our many loves become the one love, until our many dreams become the one dream, until heart and path feel the same.