Compass

Fresh Perspectives You Can Use.

Do You Honour Your Rhythm?

eBook The REAL Facts of LifeFinally – on Sunday morning the sun was shining again at the Cape of Good Hope, after heavy winter rains all week. It was still nippy with a bit of a breeze, but we were dying to get out, to smell the sea and maybe see some whales – on Saturday we had spotted the first Southern Right of the season from our deck in Simon’s Town, blowing its typical V-shaped spray some distance away.

Walking down to Fisherman’s Beach, we noticed that many flowers enjoyed the rains and were in full bloom. The surf was pounding against the rocks on which some penguins waddled about – others were still taking their morning bath, splashing in the little coves surrounding Boulders Beach.

For most of the week we had been confined indoors by the weather, but now we were thoroughly enjoying nature again, following its rhythm – and honouring our own. Early August is wet here, so what? Many people don’t like this time of the year, but our dams are filling up for summer and hopefully we won’t have water restrictions again for Christmas.

Being German, we love the South African sunshine – but why do we also miss the dark and cold weeks in Europe sometimes, when we celebrate the Advent of Christmas and families gather at home around an open fire with a hot drink, the goodwill of humanity shining through the armour of self-interest for a change?

We follow so many of these comfortably familiar rituals during our days, weeks and years without really noticing and honouring them. They mark the rhythm of life as we know it, of course; there is a time for sunshine, and a time for rain. These days, however, we tend to want it all, and now – why can’t we have it all at once?

There is a simple reason : we cannot see one-ness, we always need a sequence of events to understand the whole story. We live in a world of duality and see everything in steps of two, one after the other, which creates a rhythm – and the illusion of time. The ultimate truth is that everything happens at on©e, in the Now – but we see a past and a future. You can read more about these concepts in “The REAL Facts of Life”.

We need time – not only as a concept – to go through the stages of growth and development, the rhythms of day and night, good and bad, life and death, rain and sunshine. Together these opposites don’t exclude each other, they are just different aspects of the same thing and depend on each other.

Like two sides of the same coin : take one of them away and you no longer have a coin. If you deny the peak or the trough you don’t get a wave. On their own, the parts don’t exist. We always have to deal with both aspects to see anything in its entirety and get a whole picture.

Stop breathing out and you won’t be able to breathe in again – life will stop. Breathing is the existential rhythm most of us don’t even notice, let alone honour. When we are young we also want the knowledge that comes with age; when we are older we long for the vitality of youth.

Being a desk-jockey, all too often I get caught up in my work and forget about play, jeopardizing my balance in life – passion also has its dangers.

Leaving our favourite walk along the shore of Simon’s Town for home, we noticed a pair of Egyptian Geese with eight little chicks strut by, the gander proudly flapping his wings as if to say : “See, I am honouring the cycle.”

Nature is so wise – I need to get out more often.

Until next time, all the best from : Berend

Friday, 11 August 2006 - Posted by | 1. COMPASS eNewsletter

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