Stand tall


When calamity strikes

We think calamity is the “effect”. What we might consider is that calamity is only the “passage” to the effect. The end picture we don’t know.

We get caught up in believing that we know the beginning, the middle and the end, but we don’t know the whole story.

What the true “effect” is could look much different. What if the “accident”, or the fire is actually an opportunity for people to collide with each other in new ways. To in essence demonstrate in the truest sense of the word that we choose a different path, even in the midst of upheaval.

What if the profound nature of what we are to do actually requires that we experience what we believe to be pain in order to get to the other side?

It’s the other side of the experience that is the true effect – the Absolute come flesh. The rest – the story – is just that – a story. It has no relevance at all.

Oh the world we live in

Look at the world we live in today – in any age – and we see a world of suffering. But the suffering is only as deep as we make it. The beauty is infinite. I recall the movie¬†American Beauty¬†where a young man films a plastic bog flying in the wind. He remarks: “It’s all so beautiful. There is so much beauty in the world.”

When an interface forest fire overtook the minds and hearts of many in the Okanagan, I experienced that beauty first hand.

Rocks on the path

I saw how just when I hit rock bottom – evacuated from my home with only my wallet, my car, and my clothes on my back – my cell phone rang and it was a friend calling from Vancouver offering me his parent’s place to stay. When I hit another rock, I stumbled across another friend who offered a hug and later an ear and oasis. And then there was my “wasbund” who offered me a bed to sleep on in his home and reminded me how good it was to laugh.

And finally, there was that ponderosa tree – so majestic, standing tall in that parking lot of the high school turned evacuation centre. It stood tall because it not only survived but thrived, despite the fire, and despite the previous Mt. Boucherie fire of 1992 that took so many others.

We think we know what the “cause” and “effect” are. All we really know is that’s the way it works. We make our own journey so less painful if we are willing to let go of what we believe is the form and allow for the possibility – have the faith – to know that there’s something greater at hand.

There is so much beauty in the world. Stand tall. Like a Ponderosa in the wind.

Rev. Karin
Karin Wilson is the Spiritual Director at the Centre for Spiritual Living Yaletown in Vancouver, BC. A writer as well as spiritual coach, Karin spent more than 20 years as a journalist contributing thousands of articles to a wide range of media, including CBC Radio's The Current, Daybreak Kelowna, and The World at Six. In 2015 her voyage to Haida Gwaii was featured in Science of Mind magazine.