An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of February 6, 2012
Issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort
adjoining Chichén Itzá Ruin in Yucatán, MÉXICO

DEWDROP

120206dd.jpg (27957 bytes)

We are what our senses, thoughts and feelings reveal to us we are. Something interesting about that is that our minds habitually ignore all but what we routinely need to notice -- such as the little itch right now between my shoulderblades, and the ever-present realization that each moment brings me closer to death. In other words, most of the time, our minds blot out large acreages of senses, thoughts and feelings. If we are what our senses, thought and feelings say we are, our minds constantly diminish what we are.

It has to be like that if we are to survive, else we'd be so distracted we couldn't get anything done, or maybe we'd go crazy.

Still, it's worth thinking about this matter, because the dynamics of the situation mean that at any time we can expand ourselves simply by paying attention to something normally overlooked.

For example, consider the dewdrop on the tomato leaf at the top of this page.

The droplet is cold, smooth and spherical, gathering within itself sunlight in two places, presenting the world behind it upside-down. The leaf is hairy, its sharp hairs bent in one direction as if by wind, its surface bumpy and veiny, and then there's the leaf's translucent greenness bespeaking magical photosynthetic workings -- carbon dioxide and water conjured by sunlight into oxygen, carbohydrate and reconstituted water.

So, three themes -- the droplet, the craggy leaf, the magic of photosynthesis -- each conveying a certain feeling and message, and mingled all together presenting a certain sensation in our open minds like a melody in a friendly tune.

Here's a liberating thought: Having taken into ourselves the dewdrop's visual song, and keeping in mind how easy it is to shift our eyes just a little to where there's something else entirely, we can enter a whole other universe of states of being to reflect and feed upon, to experience, to be enlarged and refined by...

But, the most promising part is this: The same sort of focusing-and-shifting exercise done here with a dewdrop can be applied to everything in the world, and to things occupying domains beyond this world, and domains inside the world, and ourselves and others.