searching for peace and happiness

child on gate with birdAs a child, I often climbed our neighbor’s fence to get a higher perspective, to see both farther and more deeply.

I was curious about the truth of my experience, although my parents only directed me to consider the so-called outer world. They wanted me to grow into the life they found relatively comfortable, so forays into my inner experience met with their disdain. Fitting into what I saw as their wooden society was not to be, and that remained–until my mother’s death–one of her griefs, and my great reliefs. I knew instinctively that their world would not bring peace.

And so, as humans do, I searched for the root of happiness. For almost four decades I traveled with like-hearted peers, convinced I was on the right track. We walked down sweetly scented paths that were filled with longing and looked outward, into the world of practices and self-improvement. We couldn’t all be mistaken, could we? Threads of the truth were embedded in the teachings, but veiled.

I did not find what I was looking for there.

Like the Sirens in Greek mythology, the root of happiness kept calling until I made the final turn for my inner home. To paraphrase an old Sufi saying: it is nearer than the pulsing of your own heart.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Panhala Poetry

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