Even the poor. Even the rich

July 2, 2013 — 71 Comments
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Me on our beautiful South Coast beach, Australia at sunset.

There is a scripture, which I think of sometimes. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

I consider what people suggest life is about. I consider too how even those with all the ingredients for happiness: A family, job security and a place to call home, can then be struck with depression or ill health and so I wonder how then can someone truly be at peace, and if they can, where would they find it?

So we hear arguments as to what life means, what it is about, what joy is, where joy can be found and as this earth and this universe existed even before man, and as the sun rose and the sun set before there were human eyes to behold it and as the tide came in and went out before there were human footprints to be erased from the sand by the coming in of these tides, does it then mean that true life was defined before man was present to define it?

In order to find moments of peace and moments of uninterrupted joy, is it possible that we need to be alone with the sunrise or the coming in of the tide or the freshness following a rainfall or just alone with creation in whatever magnificent expression of it we happen to be situated in at the time?
Despite our technology, which is certainly very incredible and capable of great displays of beauty (think fireworks and theatre and symphonies) we have yet to match the sights and sounds and sensations which nature itself, without any assistance by man or his inventions, displays for us every day and every night.

I consider every moment where I remember feeling truly at peace. If only for a few minutes or a few hours I do have memories of standing still before a scene and experiencing something about as close to peace as one can get in this broken world and every time I was not standing under fireworks or in the audience of a great play or closing my eyes hearing a symphony, but I was always before nature itself…and alone in it.

The knowledge of any struggle had been left back home, any bills which needed to be paid remained unopened on the kitchen table, any arguments waited to be argued for later and for an hour or a minute I let it all go and was simply still. To have that small window of time to feel weightless, free from the burden of the life we have decided is life, I am able to find rest.
Whenever I choose to do this I always wonder why I wait so long to do so, why I have let so many months of living go by without life and I decide as I am still in those moments that this must be what it is like when there is no emotional gravity… you feel weightless.

If this is true, if joy truly cannot be found in gaining more or achieving more or knowing more, but rather forgetting it all for a time and just existing while your eyes follow the branches being danced this way and that way by the wind which would blow whether you were there to know it or not, and tasting the salt in the air that would be spat up by the turmoil of the waves whether you were there to taste it or not and to appreciate the rising of the sun, which could care less if you approve of it or not. If this is indeed true, then this is perhaps the best news we could hear as  ‘The sun to rises on the evil and the good’ and even the poor, even the rich…
The man who has lost everything because of the evil of another or even his own can turn his head upward at night and the stars will shine as bright as they do for a child who has never known wrong.

The rich man with a gold ring will see the same sun set in the same spectacular display as the poor man with only a crust to eat.
I have climbed mountains and tracked through bush and you know what? The views were no more beautiful for me than they would be for another…. And no less beautiful.  Perhaps the life that existed before we ever did is the only thing left in which its beauty and power and glory does not depend on…us.

And I thank God for that, because it sure is wonderful to know that when I am weak or when I have been wrong or when I am poor and if I ever find wealth or if all else fails but my very heartbeat, I will never be cut off from true life, which is the life God breathed into nature, which existed before I did, which will exist long after I am gone, the only constant which will remain constant no matter how much I fail or how much you do.

So I sit here in a moment of peace knowing that my bills will still be unopened on my table and my text books will wait on my bed with the pages of diagrams and 10 letter medical words which I keep forgetting and I will still need to figure out how I am going to move from this week to next week but for now there is a sun across from me, which is setting slowly into the mountains despite the numbers listed in the ‘pay now’ section of my power bill and there are a dozen birds around me who keep singing even when I cry and I think that the reality is, human beings have decided that life means this and life means that and I will never be exempt from the rules of it all, but for right now I will sit here in rest and in peace because though I am poor today and lonely today, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good” and yes even the poor and even the lonely and nature doesn’t discard what exists only for a moment, in fact, it depends on it. And so should I.

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71 responses to Even the poor. Even the rich

  1. 

    As always, thought provoking and beautiful. Yes, the very best things, the most beautiful things in life are free! Thanks for reminding me to enjoy it.

  2. 

    Wow, Vanessa. Just….. wow.

  3. 

    I absolutely love this. Brilliant.

  4. 

    I wish there was a share with the entire world button because everyone should read this!! I am so glad I decided to read one thing before bed and this was it!

    • 

      Its ironic that you say this because I began writing this months and months ago and then just pushed it to one side because I thought it was…well… lame.
      I am actually very surprised by the response and really, really appreciative of the fact that you took the time to comment as I am my own worst critic and as a friend mentioned earlier, it seems I want to ‘bag myself before any one else has the chance to’ and yet they never do. So thank you. xoxo

      • 

        You are very welcome. Keep writing. I actually sent it to a couple of people that I thought could benefit from it’s wisdom and shared it on Twitter. Your post was exceptional!

  5. 

    God is Lord over all He has made, sacred and secular. How can we limit our appreciation of the beauty to only one set of creations? Well done, onethousandsingledays ! (We gotta work on a nickname for you. How about otsd?)

  6. 

    What human kind accomplishes pales against what nature has already done for eons, I’ll not debate that, but there once in awhile someone does something that gives me pause. You’ve done that today. This was beautiful.

    • 

      As I commented above: Its ironic that you say this because I began writing this months and months ago and then just pushed it to one side because I thought it was…well… lame.
      I am actually very surprised by the response and really, really appreciative of the fact that you took the time to comment. Thank you.

  7. 

    simple and beautiful–peace be with you always

  8. 

    So good to read you again.

  9. 

    Awesome……..Just Awesome Share.I love it.Looking forward for more.Alex,Thanks.

  10. 

    Beautiful….inspirational……thought-provoking. Thank you.

    • 

      I am actually very surprised by the response and really, really appreciative of the fact that you took the time to comment as I am my own worst critic and as a friend mentioned earlier, it seems I want to ‘bag myself before any one else has the chance to’ and yet they never do. So thank YOU. xoxo

  11. 

    The most peaceful time for me is at sunrise.

  12. 

    Just beautiful, Vanessa, beautiful. As I’ve told you so many times before, you’ve got an incredible talent. Just imagine how many people around the world you’re touching with your words. Strange, isn’t it? They’re the same words we all use every day – it’s just the magical sequence you put them in which makes you so special. Mozart and Beethoven did a similar thing with musical notes…

    • 

      Its ironic that you say this because I began writing this months and months ago and then just pushed it to one side because I thought it was…well… lame.
      I am actually very surprised by the response and really, really appreciative of the fact that you took the time to comment as I am my own worst critic and as a friend mentioned earlier, it seems I want to ‘bag myself before any one else has the chance to’ and yet they never do. So thank you. People like you build my confidence and make me want to keep writing. xoxo

  13. 

    I can relate so much to what you have said. It is SO true….no, it’s never been the fireworks, or anything else like that. Always ALWAYS those magical moments connecting with nature. For me, nature is my church, my “God”, my joy.
    With this post you have reminded me that I need to spend more time being still….and just “being”. Thank you.

  14. 

    Ditto.. Ahhh, the life – the heart – the soul – the words of an aspiring, poor artist. Rich in expression and inspiration, yet not a penny in their pocket. We can’t out do God and all that He has created and inspires us to enjoy. Those that do find it, are rich beyond what money can buy. Great photo. Is that you on the shore and a self-portrait? Cherish your medical career, when it comes. Expression and inspiration are free, I’ve found. People love to receive it but they don’t love to buy it. God speaks through those who inspire
    and their reward is life itself and being chosen to inspire others. You are precious.

  15. 

    Beautifully written piece about finding your peace. Thank you for sharing!

  16. 

    Agreed. There is comfort in knowing our insignificance. It sounds counterintuitive, but it means we aren’t responsible for the universe, we have only to enjoy it. :)
    If you are interested, I recently read a book that helped me to understand depression so much better – just understanding it helps me to deal with mine. It was Depression (3rd edition) by Dorothy Rowe. I put off my homework and job searching to read it, but it was a life-changing read for me. But whether you read it or don’t, keep enjoying those beautiful still moments. :) You are beautiful!

    • 

      I will definitely look for that book. I was saying to my sister yesterday that it has been so long since I got stuck into a really good book (I seem to be finding a lot of ‘dud’s lately)
      I will let you know what I think once I have read it. Thanks again lovely. xoxo

  17. 

    You have a natural eloquence the rest of us can only wish we had =)

    • 

      Its ironic that you say this because I began writing this months and months ago and then just pushed it to one side because I thought it was…well… lame.
      I always feel a bit dorky writing. It ALWAYS surprises me when people take the time to comment and encourage my writing. Thank you so much.

  18. 

    Thank you for this, I needed that right now

  19. 

    wow, I never thought of that verse like that. i like that thought.

    • 

      The word of God is a living thing. One person can read a scripture and see something in it, years later it means something totally different. To others it may mean something different again. It curls around us and speaks directly to our circumstances. A powerful, living thing.

  20. 

    Hello Vanessa
    Please know that you matter, that you are heard, and that you are loved.

    Maz

  21. 

    does not the bible have an answer for everything. those words are as beautiful as the reality.

  22. 

    That felt like a hymn, or a chant, or the waves rolling in again and again and again. You managed to bring the very thing you wrote about into the words you wrote. Thank you for those few moments of quiet peace.

  23. 

    Beautiful thoughts, thank you! Nature does have that magically refreshing quality that makes all the worries of life, no matter how big or urgent or distressing they are, seem a little more distant and a little less important in the long run.

  24. 

    I enjoyed this post. I hope that you write many books in the future.

  25. 

    Awesome! You should write many books in the future.

  26. 

    Reblogged this on My New Life and commented:
    This blogger is amazing. Please slow down and read this!

  27. 

    You’re an old rare soul. :) Your writing is always thought provoking

  28. 

    How peculiar. I wrote to you as the sun was coming up for me but going down for you.
    I turn on my AC while you turn on your heat. Now the sun is resting for me and rising for you, as I read your post again. I’m reminded of how I felt the way you do – almost word for word when I was 38, wrote about it when I was 48, now at 58, I’ve put it into a book and hope that people read it, while also wondering if I’ll be here when I’m 68. We’re on opposite sides of the world, under the same sun but literally in different seasons of our lives also.
    I want people to find the sun like we have . I want people to find God in the sun.
    He is there. We are surrounded by His love.
    Love is the sunrise that met me this morning – Love is the rainfall – I love when it’s pouring. I don’t know where it comes from but from above. I don’t know what I’d become without His love.. From my book “Surrounded by His Love” see book and photos at:
    http://www.markssong.wordpress.com Good night – Good morning ME

  29. 

    you express yourself beautifully – and I have found what you are saying to be true in my life too – it was not an accident that Adam and Eve were placed in a garden rather than in a mall or in front of a tv or video game !!!!!!!

  30. 

    A wonderfully written piece about finding your inner peace in nature. Beautifulyl mindful moments in contemplation of divinity and beyond, thank you :)

  31. 

    I feel most peaceful by the waters. There is something about it that soothes me.

  32. 
    debra sampson July 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Love this, it is a blessing to read it and rest a moment.

    ________________________________

  33. 

    A beautiful expression of a beautiful truth. Thank you for being you.

  34. 

    You write so beautifully. I’m not much of a writer, but you make me want to be one, to be eloquent and creative.

  35. 

    I think you make a very good point in a very interesting way. I haven’t read all the comments, but I thought I’d say that even though everything is theoretically the same for all, it’s how every person interprets it that changes. Even people of same wealth, happiness and opportunities would perceive something differently. And I think that forms a great part of what makes every day different, even with each having a sunset. :)

  36. 

    Beautiful blog. When did you start blogging?

  37. 

    You liked my blog of two posts, for which I have all of the gratitude of someone who is finally sharing her thoughts with people out there in the void. And I am so very, very glad you did, because it pointed me toward your blog. I love this journey of self-discovery–and, others-discovery, for that matter–that you have set out for yourself. I chose random selections from your blog to read and get a sense of how you got here, and I really like your writing. Really. And I am so happy for you that you have a book of short stories coming out.

    You conclude, “‘He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good’ and yes even the poor and even the lonely and nature doesn’t discard what exists only for a moment, in fact, it depends on it. And so should I.”

    I think about these things, too, often. Have you read Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native? It begins with the heath, a subtle yet powerful character far more than mere setting. And the heath continues long after the people are gone. Indeed, if memory serves, I think the whole first chapter is about the heath. A “vast tract of unenclosed wild.” Anyway, I think about that in the land where I grew up, on the coast of California, and I wonder what the people were doing there a thousand years ago, and what they might do in another thousand years. I believe in God, believe in Christ, and I guess part of me thinks the whole thing might end long before that time with trumpets and new heavens and new earth and all that. But in the mean time, I think about how infinitely precious each person on the face of the earth is, and how each one’s story is just as complex and interesting as mine, probably more, and yet, here I am, the one recording. “The winners write the history.” What of the bloggers? I guess we’re writing the history, too.

    Anyway, thanks for blogging. Thanks for sharing your stories. I look forward to reading a lot more.

  38. 

    Very thought provoking. I love the way that nature instills peace in a person’s life. It truly is a way that God encourages us to slow down our lives. If you stop to notice the world around you, you will be amazed at how far the worries of the world get pushed to the back of your mind. Nature is a wonderful example of God’s creativity. Thanks for the post and for liking my blog.

  39. 
    monicaxorjuela July 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    incredibly profound. I experienced one of these rare gems of a moment just last week. Thanks for the incredible perspective written so eloquently.

  40. 

    Thanks for the follow! You are an eloquent writer!

  41. 

    Hello and thank you for following my blog (takecareofthemostimportant.com)
    Thank you because otherwise I would not have discovered yours and a real gem it is. Your writing is very beautiful, I look forward to reading more. Bless & bliss to you*

  42. 

    Reblogged this on Steffie's Self Diagnosis and commented:
    something to think about

  43. 

    Hello Vanessa!
    Peace is a subject that I have considered strongly. So much so I always leave people with the wish for it when I go.
    The strongest prison in everyone’s life comes with no keys, bars, or even walls. Just memories of mistakes, misconceptions, ignorance, pride, envy, guilt, and negativity. Our minds are the things that conceive such notions.
    The fact is if anyone that has any of these things in their mind has the power to change these feelings because they thought them up in the first place.
    Always keep this gift and challenge I give to you now as a guiding light to the absolute truth of our minds:
    We can do anything with imagination…. And the willingness to do what’s necessary.
    Peace be with you.
    ~2zpoint/ Stuart Steele

  44. 

    but
    you ARE nature,
    integrated into the framework of the world’s environment.
    It is scholars and thinkers that present us with
    “you are far more sophisticated and special than anything natural”
    You are part of our ancient world’s structure and I am glad you mentioned the stars to which we will return as stardust in a few billion years.
    Collective effect, the sky and therefore the colours of sunset are that way because of you plural (all of us) breathing. You also made me think, I read somewhere that your eyes are the single element that helped us evolve, faster than most living things.
    Their focus, depth of field, interpretation of unreflected light, direct from source is one of the most complex natural things on the planet.
    I liked what you write…….
    ……..but do not like your loneliness
    have concern for what the man-made world throws at you
    and as a camera is usually nearby, I do my best to record those same moments of disconnection and return to the natural I have myself, but I can be still and near euphoric by finding something in a city!
    I note a lot of advice above but I simply wish I could help or give you direction as I have been alone and am not sad
    (clonic-tonic)
    thankyou for your blog today or when you wrote I should say

  45. 

    “I consider too how even those with all the ingredients for happiness: A family, job security and a place to call home, can then be struck with depression or ill health and so I wonder how then can someone truly be at peace, and if they can, where would they find it?”

    I’ve been erasing and rewriting my response to your beautiful piece here, trying to capture in the simplest way what I’ve truly come to believe about peace and my personal demon Uncertainty. Then I remembered that someone else much more eloquent than myself had said it already and I just happen to have it reproduced on a magnet on my refrigerator door (a place I often go to for inspiration).

    “You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

    Rainer Maria Rilke
    “Letters to a Young Poet”

    I’ve very much appreciated your musings, writings and the struggles that you’ve been brave enough to share with the world. Thanks again :)

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