Food for Thought: The Forest for the Trees (walking to work through a nature park)

"Things are never as bad as they seem, you just gotta learn to see the forest for the trees"
–Huey Lewis


There is a 222 acre nature park named Tualatin Hills near Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton Oregon, and I started walking through it to get to work, and at lunch, since the weather has got warm.

I try not to be the type that portrays that he has got it all together, I'm in general pleased with my personal, spiritual and mental development, but one "stickler" about me is that so far as having a still and quiet mind, on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being a totally quite minded "Zen Master", I would have to rate myself about a 2.

…..However, walking amongst the trees to work through the Tualatin Hills has bumped my stillness up a couple of points.

Upon entering one end of the park, as all reality of the external world around me diminishes to insignificance, I was amazed how much "noise" is in my mind. However, the sound of the whistling trees, the songs of the birds has an undeniably calming effect on the psyche.

I seemed to feel the "irrelevance" of all my irrelevant thoughts. The folly of my mind, as if these trees really care about the worthless meeting taking place at the job in an hour.

My mind settles down about a hundred paces into the park and a Walt Whitman poem comes to mind, a poem I read dozens of times, but never "felt" it until now.

Me Imperturbe.

ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all, or mistress of all—aplomb in the midst of irrational things,
Imbued as they—passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less important than I thought;

Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary—all these subordinate,
(I am eternally equal with the best—I am not subordinate;)
Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or the Tennessee, or far north, or inland,

A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life in These States, or of the coast, or the lakes, or Canada,
Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingencies!
O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do.

–Walt Whitman

BTW, with Whitman, either you get him or you don't, so I don't wanna explain that poem. Anyhoo, 25 minutes later I emerge from the forest, face to face with the office building that awaits, I feel my mind taking itself back down to a "2".

But that's OK. I know the totality of what my mind creates is really just noise, those thoughts are not the real me, the real me is the silence in the forest from whence I just came. I only need to have it become a permanent condition of mind, or shall I say permanent condition of "no mind".

If there is one thing I've learned from my physical and mental journey is that it is a process, and I have all spring, summer and fall to have the forest speak to me, and I can sense these trees will keep reminding me wherever I go, that I should strive to become like those trees, just stand tall, rise and grab the sunlight, and just exist in harmony and balance……………….and with a quiet mind

~Stay healthy~

I crack a lot of my friends up because so many songs I like are a million miles away from the R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop Genres that I grew up with.

But I guess I was a victim of the MTV craze when it first came out when I was in college.

For whatever reason (don't ask me why), Huey Lewis was always one of my favorite bands, and this track "The Forest For The Trees" is a favorite of theirs that never got any air time, but I always liked it.

……but now, it gets some "airtime" on the soundtrack of my life. Take a listen!!


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