A Way of Seeing

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I am writing this on the ferry, and the man sitting behind me is “quietly” singing to himself. I’d like to get up and move but for some reason I feel it would be rude.

This Tuesday, I’m inspired to write about how we see the world and how the world might see us. I’ve been reading about the Koyukon, an indigenous culture who call Alaska’s wilderness “home”. The Koyukon share an intimate relationship with nature and with the supernatural. Nature is considered kin. When a Koyukon person walks in the forest, she is not alone.

The forest is aware.

Walking through the woods today, I imagined — to the point of believing– the tall firs and cedars and hemlocks noticed my presence. I stood a little taller. I looked to their tops, and I smiled. As I strutted down the trail, I had the feeling those trees were checking me out. A familiar feeling of walking the catwalk came back to me. Only this time there was no judgment–only love. I was overcome with elation–that kind of happiness so intense it makes your eyes water—the kind you tend to keep to yourself.

What we believe to be real is completely real, regardless.

The gentleman behind me is still singing. I pause to listen. It sounds like prayer, set to song. A page turns. It’s a hymnbook. He must be extremely devout, or maybe he’s heading to Vancouver for choir practice.

“Ho, hymn.”

His phone rings, and the singing ceases.

People–I guess–sing aloud to calm their mind. It’s only recently that I even tolerate other’s singing, or whistling for that matter. I used to think they had some nerve filling my air space with their cacophony. I now see things differently. I see the moment, and remind myself it’s the only moment that matters, and I can choose to enjoy it.

I eavesdrop on his conversation; turns out he’s a Boy Scout leader—I’m not surprised. He also thinks irregardless is a word.

He ends the call and picks up the singing where he left off. I listen to his voice, and it begins to soothe me. I continue to listen as I watch the sunset over the ocean.

Aware, I feel connected.

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