So why “Leaves in the Stream?”
I woke up thinking this morning. A rare thing, so I decided to nourish it and see where things went from there. As I lay thinking, it occurred to me that people (well, I can only speak for myself, of course, but I think to a greater or lesser degree this is true of everyone) progress through their lives with a self-view that is constantly evolving. We start as children in a world in which we occupy the center and all else revolves around us. Ego-centrism. Now, I can confidently state from experience that some folks never progress beyond that, ummm, stage, if you will. I dealt with a lot of those types professionally when I was a cop.
However, most folks, with a little luck, gradually tune in to the fact that the world is not in fact hanging on their every thought and deed. That other folks out there have thoughts, hopes, wishes, wants, and needs that are just as important to them as ours are to us. And worthy of respect, most times. It takes a while, probably — I recollect that in my early twenties, I really started becoming aware of this little fact. I understood it at a far younger age, mind, but I think it still takes a while for that inner voice to acknowledge the fact that we are not the center of the universe.
Then, as life’s little challenges, wins and losses (especially losses) begin to mount, you begin to get a real sense of your place in this big old world. Namely, that 99.99999+% of it couldn’t care less about you and your little hopes and dreams. That sounds harsh, but the reality of it is that it is harsh. But it is also life. You find a few cherished folks on your way through this world who do care about you. You reciprocate, of course, or you’ve found the wrong folks. But other than them, that’s it.
So on to my little metaphor: I think we start life with the conviction that the world and everything in it revolves around us. But as time progresses, it gradually becomes evident that the world is just sweeping us along, much like a leaf caught in a river’s current. Most of us have little real idea where we’re going to end up and are by and large powerless in our ability to alter it meaningfully. Maybe that’s just another way of describing karma, I don’t know. But as time goes on, I mean to simply enjoy the water. And the ride. 🙂