Animist

Imagine…

Limestone cliffs rising up out of the water, their dizzying heights meeting the blue of the sky.  The Andaman Sea stretches away to the west, turquoise, bobbing, reflecting the light.  Your bus bounces and bumps down the road, and reggae music plays in your ears.  You curve past corn fields and rice fields, iridescent in the afternoon sunlight, swaying green, unbelievably green.  Farmers in slanting hats cultivate the land, and summer bathes everything in warmth.  This is the time of growth, or blooming, of the expansion of life.

As you look out the window, rows of trees whip by.  They are orderly, soldier-like.  They were planted as seedlings, dropped into the rich black earth, and now they are stretching towards the sky, their branches open and seeking light.  Sometimes they whip by in horizontal lines, your eyes taking everything in like a rapidly changing set of photo frames.  Click, click, click.  You pass miles of these trees, but they all look the same, they are evenly spaced, the only change is the rolling hills, the music in your ears.  Sometimes they are planted diagonally, and this changes everything, the way your eyes perceive.  Now you have to relax your eyes and allow them to sharpen slowly, taking in the new geometrical structure, allowing the green to blur and blend, sharpen and differentiate.  One by one, tree by tree, acre by acre, hills by rolling hills.  They will never end.  The sunlight is warm, yellow, it is sliding down the sky.

As you pass one particular grove of palm trees, something happens.  Somehow, without trying, you slip out of your body and merge with the consciousness you had previously observed from the window of the bus.  Now you are pure, fresh air, dancing amongst the trunks of the trees.  You are shading leaves, filtering warm sunlight and absorbing transformative elements into the chlorophyll of your cells.  You are those rays of light, yellow and playful as you infuse the grove with warmth and life.  You are the earth that the rays sink into, you are the tiny worms beneath the surface.  And perhaps best of all, you are the rushing creek that pours through the grove, laughing, fantastic, exploding over stones.  You are clear water, liquid joy, bubbles of bliss rising to the surface.  You are nature’s flirt, a wild daredevil, caressing the rocks, satiating the earth.  And then again, you are the air, the leaves, the trunks of the trees.

And then, snap!  You come back, and you are in your human body, eyes on the window, bumping and bouncing along the endless road.  You are watching the coconut groves turn golden in the setting sun, military soldiers saluting you a good evening.  They rush by in rank and file, perfectly planted and thriving.  Heavy coconuts hang in clusters, and sunlight dapples their leaves.  The imaginary creek is out of sight, but it is rushing in your heart, and you can still feel the exhilaration of being water, of being free, of being plants and trees.  You know you tapped into the heart of life, one single manifestation of simplicity and joy.  You know now that plants have feelings, that water has a soul, that life is blissful.  Reggae music plays in your ears as the first pale stars come out in the sky.  Look around you now.  What do you feel?

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Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

Lovely...thanks Sarah.

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