ophe's promise

something akin to a sketch pad

moon phases
Location: Hawaii, United States

one of my favorite quotes: Be Humble for you are made of earth; Be Noble for you are made of stars.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"There is a general appearance wherein the great lines of creation shaped and gathered in things. Events are knitted together with each other and that's why seeing merely one of them is to perceive nothing. Penetration of an event into another breeds miracle and it is the action being processed wonderfully. Nothing is aimless and universal regularity is a marvelous knot. There is no interruption or no error in creation and those linked together with an event hug the whole nature. Chain never breaks off and the self-existent miracle connects itself. Only what is required exists in the universe and this non-stop extremely great displacement takes place without any fracture and human takes part in this translatory motion by calling it "destiny". - Mete Benderli

I'm fortunate to have had some great influences in my life. Mete Benderli is a friend of mine; our friendship and his strength of character taught me much. His above words lead me to today's rambling thoughts......

Probably the primary and strongest influence on my life was my father. Born into a humble West Virginia "hillbilly" farming family (he attended a one-room school through 8th grade) he was the first in his family to attain a college degree. After his stint in the army during WWII, he moved our family to the East Coast, where he forged a successful career with a local chemical corporation. (A hillbilly transformed into a corporate guy - smile) He continued to educate himself throughout his life. He had an endless curiosity about science and history, loved reading Shakespeare and other works of literature, too. A fine example of lifelong learning, in fact. Throughout his life, even while living in a more urban environment, he maintained, most of all, a love and respect for nature. He is the one who taught me how to observe the life in a forest, the silence and reverence required in our visits to the wild, the appreciation of the plants and animals to be found. He taught me of the various wildflowers and named the birds by their calls.

In his last year of life, he spoke of how he was tiring of his work and wished to be "chasing squirrels in the hills of West Virginia again." He had a special affection for hawks. We often visited a mountain not far from our home that is famous for the views it offers in Spring and Fall of the migrating hawks. (Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania) My father had a relationship to nature that many in our modern world are denied. And so, in the immediate weeks after his death, when I noticed a hawk daily perched in a tree near my mother's apartment window, I wondered if my dad's spirit had somehow inhabited the form of that hawk. God only knows, but I can't help smiling to think of that whimsical possibility.

You may have noticed that many of my posts to this blog have to do with nature, in particular, the birds. The Hawaiian lore of plants and certain animals contain references to their FAMILIAL relationship to nature. The taro plant is their BROTHER; their family "aumakua" (something akin to a protective spirit - particular to their clan) can be a living creature, such as a lizard, a shark, a wild boar, an owl. In other words, they are more than witnesses to the natural world they inhabit - more than consumers of the raw materials provided - they live IN RELATION to the world.

My past three years in Hawaii have been a sort of exploration of this concept, as well. Nature can provide us the key to all mysteries, I'm coming to believe. The plants, the fish and animals, the skies, the ocean and the earth - it seems to me they carry messages from the universe to us, if only we could learn to see and listen. I wonder about my relationship with some of the birds I encounter, the renegade barnyard chickens and turkeys and even the Io and Pueo (hawk and owl)

Which brings me back to Mete's quote about the "marvelous knot of universal regularity." We are linked to the earth and the universe, knitted into a wondrous tapestry. Our actions and understandings are not without consequence.

My understanding is still very small, I seek clues daily and feel an urgency in this quest.

Praying I am granted the eyes to see and the ears to hear, and the time to share what I might learn.........

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