Two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds battling for territory spiraled higher and higher in their aerial contest, rising to the very tops of the tall pines, until the shadow of a large Red-tailed Hawk swept over the trees, and the Hummers darted for cover. The Hawk made several low passes before lifting up and away to the upper thermals, and immediately the Hummers zipped out again, noisily expressing themselves with their characteristic clicking chirps, rushing to stake their claim to the nectar in the feeders. Those who don’t feed every fifteen minutes may perish, especially now that the Winter temperatures are dropping below freezing at night.
As I sat in the old white chair, taking a break from my chores and enjoying the crisp midday chill, my gaze drifted over the ground before me, covered with fallen leaves, pine needles, and small stones. As the earth revolved in its ordinary majesty, shafts of sunlight and shifting shadows played over the ground in a synchronized dance, combining with the ambient environment to reveal a vision of absolute perfection.
Everything was exactly where it was supposed to be, being exactly as it is, and this is precisely why the old ones exclaim that there is no other paradise than this. If we imagine that there is some Nirvana elsewhere, we are simply not looking properly. A palpable Presence exudes from even the most modest scene, rendering all conceptual fabrications moot. Who knew that emptiness was so full, so vividly alive!
It occurred to me that notions such as “chaos” and “random” merely represent a temporary poverty of perceptive capacity. If one simply takes a moment to shed the distortions spawned by mental distractions and open their eyes to what ripples out before and all around them, they will need no holy texts or testimonies from the celestial characters to recognize the divine symmetry of this very existence.