"The stiller the viewer, the more that is seen" - Is something I said once and it struck me again but in different words today and became "The less of a viewer..."
Nature is beyond words and is living Tao, if the world could just see the magic there and not keep running around trying to shape life into a misfit reflection of mini-mind, then all would be well - and all IS well for those of us who do do that.
One bird flew with a heavy load of nest material and hit the tree, crashing into the branches. The shaking rocked the other tree dwellers and then crash bird had to struggle to get a footing and place his over egged basket on the branches before it fell. The other birds shuffled in their seats and a number of us human types stopped to look on, smile and laugh.
Below the tree, which was on an island in the lake, another of the same kind of bird was standing with his wings held up and out. He was allowing the sun and wind to dry them I would guess and he just stood, occasionally shifting his footing. Did he know the sun, a large electrical anode, and the wind, the air on an electromagnetic flux, were what were drying the liquid state hydrogen/oxygen mixture off his waxed, tubular feathers?
As the other humans moved on, I stayed. I watched crash bird decide against the crash landing point as a place to stay, pick up his materials and plummet out of the tree back into the water with a splash. He re-emerged and with a shake of his wings the water was off his back and he swam, load splitting up as he pulled it along. Drying bird stood on, drying. The other birds did nest stuff and two proud black swans marched the lake's perimeter looking for troublemakers and bread litterers to honk at.
As this happened none of the water forgot to be wet, no bird fell through the tree as the wood forgot to be stiff, my heart did not once forget which way or how often to pump, my hair grew, the birds feathers remained waxed, light, the sun remained consistently warm and distant, the sky did not go green as it was changing channel for snooker. It just worked.
Nature works. We then, with increasingly more self awareness; crash into trees, laugh, pick up sticks to throw for dogs, ride cycles, run whilst checking times on the watch, sit in a car texting a friend about the park you can't see as you sit texting, drive with music on to drown out the birds, eat a picnic of plastic wrapped sandwiches of chemically preserved ingredients, pick up the kids to get home in time to watch a programme on nature, desire to be able to do this more often...
But I stood on, watching this, seeing humanity in its glory ignoring the very nature they sat within and I saw wet bird, now dry, take a hop into the air and a couple of powerful strokes, up, he was dropping onto a high branch to sit. Crash bird had dropped his load and was now on the bank near me picking up new materials. The swans had found a small boy to harass and his father, who was on his phone, shooed the big guys away. Luckily for him they had eaten already - but that did not stop them giving a passing honk to remind Mr Man and Master Small Boy who was in charge around here.
As various layers of awareness observed each other, the ground did not turn liquid, gravity did not reverse, air remained perfectly breathable and a dog ran by, happy as a dog, running by. I thought "hey dog, don't you know there is a world recession?" and I laughed to myself knowing how it was only me him and the birds who could be free enough not to care.
Nature just goes on, beautifully, and humanity on the whole blindly ignores it and worries if they are getting fat and should have a 3 meat pizza not a 6, if they will get home in time for the news, if their car is new enough or if they were right or wrong when the other driver shouted at them "open your eyes you fucking idiot!".
Nature is quietly being perfect. Not showing off, but just setting the perfect example to those who choose to look.
This post originally appeared on Ta-Wan's blog, Tao Wow.