Many of you may not have noticed that I haven’t been posting lately. You see, I have been somewhat “off the grid” for the last few weeks. I have been fortunate enough to be spending my time at a lovely cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Part of the beauty of this place is that it has no internet access. Even cell phone service is spotty unless you want to walk up to the main road where it gets a little better.
One of the other benefits of being in a natural environment is the chance to see what the world is truly like without the intervention of mankind. Every day I get a chance to go down to the waterfront and just sit and watch the waves lap up against the shore. As I sat there watching I realized that this is reality. It doesn’t matter if it is a warm day or cold day. It doesn’t matter if it is calm or windy. The waves never stop. Some days the waves are bigger, often reaching whitecap stage, crashing against the beach. Other days it is calm, with the waves gently kissing the shoreline.
I have been coming to this place for over 40 years. During that span, the shoreline has changed very little. Oh, sometimes we have 40 feet of smooth sandy beach, other years the beach is virtually non-existence with the waves only a few feet from a deck that oversees the water. Time and again local property owners have tried in vain to alter the shoreline. They build seawalls to hold the water back, boat ramps to make it easier to launch a boat, even docks to park your boat for when you return to shore. All of those efforts have been met with frustration. Anything that a human being attempts to build will soon disappear. Eventually, the waves will reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
As I sat there watching this reality in its grandest form I thought about the state of the world today. Today the world is filled with hate towards others who do not look, act or think like us. This hate is fueled by mass media and propaganda that is little more than one person’s opinion of the way the world is or should be. It is not reality but perception. Yet if we hear it often enough, from enough people that think like us, it becomes our reality.
Fortunately, like all things created by mankind, it is temporary. Regardless of how much we try to make our beliefs, our perception, become reality they are not real. They are only our imagination at work.
Yesterday, we had a storm. Dark clouds, high winds, torrential rains. It was a different form of reality. My perception was that it was scary. It looked as if the world would never be the same. The storm only lasted a few hours. It was real, but when the turmoil was over the sun peeked out and to everyone’s surprise, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. We had weathered the storm. I was no longer afraid.
This morning I went back out to the waterfront. It was no surprise that the shoreline was still there right where nature had left it. And the waves? They were still lapping up against the shore just as they had done since the beginning of time. Nothing we said, did or thought had made any difference.
We were back to Reality.