THE BLOG
10/06/2014 01:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2014

A Dream We're Close to Living

This passage explores a different sense of destiny.


A Dream We're Close to Living

I was given an insight when young, which arrived one day in the rain as everything thirsty in me relaxed. It was an insight about destiny and how, like trees and plants, destiny is more a breaking ground of all that grows within--a manifestation of life from seed to flower--than a foretold timeline of projected desires that we create to keep us from the pain of living.

All these years later, I'm in the rain again and everything--the very buildings, the people walking with their dreams as umbrellas, the way we all want so very much to look into each other's eyes--everything keeps sprouting from within, destined to grow into what it can. For all our creative gifts and our urge to build, we're going nowhere, just stretching like orchids into our potential.

And though I've achieved a lot, when I ignore this natural sense of destiny, I find I don't grow or mature as a soul. To be productive without growing has made me realize that all the effort to be seen and heard is draining, when it is seeing and hearing that keeps us vital. All the effort to be remembered is enervating, when it is the peace of putting the members back together that keeps us connected to everything larger than us. All the effort to run from our fear of failure and the constant push toward some fantasized future is exhausting, when our destiny is simply and profoundly to root where we are and grow toward the light.

Still, it's hard to be here, to grow here, though the journey is made easier when we can accept that the process of living is designed for what matters to come through us tenderly. This destiny from within to without is the heart's dialogue with what matters, the way a flower dialogues with the rain to blossom.

This is the dream we're close to living.


A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, describe your own growth to this point in your life in terms of the life of a tree or plant--from seed to flower. Speak about yourself as a seedling and what watered you. Speak about yourself as a stem breaking ground. Speak about your roots.

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.