As we made our way to the path, we had to walk over the graves. I found myself slowing down... reading the headstones... pondering the lives that were lived and now gone from this earth. I was flooded with unexpected feelings and sensations throughout my body. A bit of eeriness, too. The phrase "we step lightly" came into my consciousness... and soon after, a melody to it. Perhaps the beginnings of a new song? :-) It just came to me. I don't think I had heard it before. Yes, I was indeed stepping lightly over the graves, out of care and respect. But what I was really feeling was how transient this physical life on earth is. Well, our time on it anyway. The earth lives on. And that is the point.
Our limited time here is a gift... a blessing. And we are here to honor that gift... and to honor the earth that inhabits us. As I was talking to Eric about the phrase that popped into my head, "we step lightly", and what it meant to me, he pointed out that there was a Native American philosophy around that phrase (or similar to it). So I came home and looked some stuff up on Google. Whoa. I love the way Google works as the "one mind" sometimes!
First, I found a lovely poem that completely resonated with how I was feeling and why that phrase came to me:
"Tread lightly upon this earth, seeing, understanding but never imposing. Thoughtful, independent, be gracious in victory and defeat. Free of possessiveness, so ease of mind sweetens relationships. Like the scent of a rose the untroubled spirit imparts a lasting fragrance". - Author Unknown
I couldn't say it better myself. Walking through that cemetery, I realized that acknowledging death changes the landscape of life here on earth. The message I was getting is that we aren't to get too attached to what we can see and touch... but to become more connected to the eternal heart space within us and in each other... and to the heart of this earth. I know we're all going to physically die at some point, but I must admit, I sometimes can't even wrap my head around that reality. What I know is that there is value in remembering that our time here in this realm is temporary. That awareness loosens our grip. It lightens our step. It deepens our breaths.
As I did a little more searching, I found that Native American wisdom has much to teach us about that phrase that popped into my head (as Eric had pointed out to me). It is indeed about heart and spirit, but also living a life of less (physically)... leaving minimal physical impact on our earth. Here are just a few of the beautiful proverbs I found:
"Let us walk softly on the earth with all living beings great and small, remembering as we go that one God, kind and wise, created all"
"Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant"
"May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life"
I also love to think of stepping lightly as living with a lightness of being. Walking in truth and wisdom, but floating a little, too. :-) Ascending in mind and spirit with both feet on the ground.
I found another quote (author unknown) that resonates deeply and would like to leave you with:
"Step lightly... let your presence be larger than the space you consume"
Wow... yes. Food for thought. And something to aspire to, for sure.
Namaste, fellow steppers. <3