“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” – Jalaluddin Rumi
When I can’t sleep at night, when my mind is filled with car payments, mortgages, and college tuition I think about the pasture, the field that I walked through to enter the woods on my Grandfather’s farm. I haven’t walked through this field or explored the woods beyond it in more than 35 years but when I close my eyes, in the quiet of the night, I can see every inch of it. But here is the thing, what I see in my mind’s eye no longer exist. The pasture, and the woods have been replaced with streets, sidewalks, a clubhouse and tract houses.
Over the course of my childhood I explored every inch of those 200 acres. Wading in the creeks, turning over rocks, walking, absorbing, listening and watching the world stand still. I stumbled on deer, turkey, raccoons, and skunks getting nailed not once but twice and once so bad that my Grandmother had to burn a brand new pair of blue jeans on the trash pile.
I was lucky to have this place of refuge. As a moody 14-year-old I could escape from all of the pressures fronting me from both parents and my peers. There was no right or wrong in the woods, just trees and air. As Rumi stated I found a place where the “world is too full to talk”. Honestly, words couldn’t then nor can they now adequately describe the solitude and solace I found through that pasture and deep into those woods.
Though this place has long since given way to what some would call progress it lives forever in my mind as real today as it was 35 years ago. If you are still searching for your own field, your place of peace, reflection and respite I hope you find it. I hope you will search until you do and like Rumi, I’ll meet you there.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir