Wandering Thoughts

Theme for February: Resilience

Saturday, February 13, 2021

“… those thoughts that wander through eternity.” — John Milton, Paradise Lost

     These days, when I recall my elementary school teachers saying that I had a “wandering” mind, I actually feel grateful for that unfettered, rambling way of thinking. Although it’s sometimes fun to pretend that I carefully manufacture my own thoughts, the truth is they cascade into my mind in a totally undisciplined and impersonal manner. It’s as if, in Milton’s words, zillions of thoughts “wander through eternity”, and some of them happen to spill into me as I’m doing my own kind of wandering. What’s appealing to me about this is that the thoughts I think have previously spilled into countless other minds before they reach mine, and thus they bring along to me the immeasurable treasures of countless thinkers over the centuries. I no more make my own thoughts than a river makes its own water. Rivers flow because a limitless number of rills, runnels, and streams flow into them, and I welcome and entertain thoughts because innumerable other thinkers have welcomed in these ambling, dawdling thoughts that forever “wander through eternity” and fall, for a few moments or hours, into my small, strolling-around, grateful life. 

This morning, as Delycia and I walked on some snowy trails (below), it was as if the lovely forest itself sent thoughts wandering through me, and I loved all of them!

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