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The Winds, Ephemerality, and Eternity

A poem came to me on the Wind while I was sitting next to the Yahara River near my house. The warblers were flitting about and the early morning sun was glittering along the rippling water. The sun reflected on the water was being caught by the tree leaves hanging about. The bright green leaves were filled with light. I could see tiny little spider webs and strands between the leaves, only being able to see them when the sun hit just right.

What does it mean for something to come to you on the Wind? It is said that the Winds can bring you many things, creativity and inspiration being a few. Have you ever felt like all of a sudden you received a great idea, or had a breakthrough on a project you were working on? Needing to quickly capture this wonderous idea before it leaves just as fast as it came? The Winds might have brought you that idea. In many folk European traditions the Winds have a beingness, an aliveness, and a spirit, they were respected, revered, and sometimes feared. Much can be sent on the Wind and received through the Wind.

While sitting by the river I was remembering a Haiku that has made a huge impression on me for a year now. This poem is Kobayashi Issa's dewdrop Haiku. It was written by Issa after he lost his daughter. In the words and the space between the words, we can feel his grief and his reflections on the loss of child. This poem comtemplates the Buddhist teaching that the world and our experience in it is like a dewdrop, impermanent and evanescent. But, while we hold that truth, dealing with great loss can overcome any peace we might gain from that teaching. While this world is fleeting and as beautiful as a dewdrop, the ephemeral nature of this world can also be disheartening. At the same time we can reach peace by knowing nothing is permanent, even deep sadness.

"this world of dew...

though a world of dew it remains,

still even so..."

– Kobayashi Issa

While contemplating this ephemerality I also thought of Eternity. One teaching I have received is that Eternity can be accessed at any moment. Eternity can be a blissful state of beingness and presence, a state of being fully here. An Eternal place mentioned in the Saga's is one of the 12 realms of Heaven called "Glitnir," which can be roughly translated to "The Glittering." While I was on a walk I looked up at the leaves catching the sunlight and was totally entranced by their beauty. I was captivated, fully present and experiencing their dancing about, catching precious rays of summer sun. Seeing the leaves glittering green and yellow high up above me, I thought to myself, "I am in Glitnir, The Glittering realm." We can access this heavenly glittering realm at any moment, and it is all around us. The beauty of now is always here.

So here is the poem. My reflections on the dewdrop world, ephemerality, and eternity. In the poem, the Norns show up too. It would be hard to discuss the fleetingness of life without their presence.

"Serpent sings

Twining neath

At the base of a Linden tree

Water flows

Urdr knows

Neath forests feet

Serpents sing Earthen Green

dewdrop, yet... Eternity

Skuld knows

as Water flows

Spider sings his song

Master Weaver

Pine bough keeper

Woman of the Waves

Gossamer threads

Life is but a Spider's web

And yet, Eternity."

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