I sometimes think of writing a story about some reflections of trees in a river, like these on the Wood River where we kayaked on Friday morning …

and, in my story, the tree reflections decide that they are, in fact, real trees, not just reflections. Gradually, these tree reflections become proud of their separateness as ‘real’ trees, and begin thinking that they are better than the other reflections, but also start worrying, because maybe the other tree reflections, which are also ‘real’ trees, will be able to hurt them, and even kill them!

This story, even if it never gets written, is an important one to me, because it portrays, in some ways, my own situation in life. I usually think of myself – my ‘self’ – as a separate material entity existing in a universe of countless other material entities, all competing with each other to stay separate and healthy, but when I’m wide awake and thinking clearly, I see how foolish that is – just as foolish as these tree reflections on the Wood River yesterday thinking they are actually real, individual, separate trees, and not reflections.

More and more, as the years have passed, I have come to see that what is called ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘Ham’ is simply a reflection of something so vast that it can’t be comprehended or described. Every thought I think and move I make is actually a reflection of the thoughts and movements of this infinitely forceful power, which I sometimes refer to as Spirit, or Soul, or just Life. These tree reflections don’t really have to work hard to sway and bend, nor I do I have to work hard to live a fulfilling – even miraculous – life. Like the tree reflections, I just have to relax and let the powers do their marvelous work. Lucky me.

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