On the Journey: Live close to the ground

Germander Speedwell
There is a really wonderful thought in the Tao (actually, there are so many!) that speaks of the supreme good being like water, nourishing all things without trying to and being content with the low places that people disdain.  Then it exhorts us : ‘In dwelling, live close to the ground.  In thinking, keep to the simple…In work, do what you enjoy.  In family life, be completely present’. (Tao 8).

I really like the phrase about living close to the ground!  One of the allures of camping is just that!  And when I was out for a run this evening I saw lovely blue patches in the grass, right on the ground, and they are these wonderful springtime wild flowers – germander speedwell.  Thing is, though, they are right on the ground, hardly an inch high, and so are easily missed.  And as the spring unfolds into summer the grass will grow and the bracken unfurl and the speedwell will be hidden by the towering plants.  But just at this time, if you look right close to the ground, you will see these wonderful, tiny, violet-blue bright flowers looking up at you.

The flower has an old meaning from folklore of times past: ‘God-speed-you-well’ on your travels and any journey you are to take.  And it also carries the idea of ‘speeding wellness’ to you.  And I thought, what a wonderful message – a time for journeying, for moving on, for growing, for becoming more of who you are, and on that journey of life we are granted a blessing.  What a lovely little flower!

And on the theme of journeying, I would like to include some words I wrote in a post last year about the Journey of Life*

  •  ‘Learn to rely on yourself; within you are all the resources you need.  Your self-reliance is something that grows when you have taken the first step.
  • Be open-minded about the people and cultures you encounter on your travels – they all carry a portion of truth
  • Sift through values that people live by until you find the ones worthy of you
  • Fears will accompany you, but when you face them and sit with them in the shadows, you will see them as visitors come to show you where you still need to grow
  • The dawn always, always comes after the dark night
  • Love is a sweet and precious gift to be treasured
  • All creatures that have a beating heart are connected – the ant, the grasshopper, the rabbit, the bird, the deer, and us – so tread lightly
  • ‘Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet/confinement of your aloneness/ to learn/anything or anyone/that does not bring you alive/is too small for you’ [from David Whyte’s poem Sweet Darkness]
  • Take courage, and go live a little.


Happy journeying!


[June 16, 2015 Tips for travellers]


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