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  • Thomas Lawrence Toscano

It's all right there for you...




A nesting pair of red-tailed hawks, feed on a ham bone buried in the snow which Kio, my White German Shepherd, had left out side. With their natural abilities they found the morsel and spent the afternoon in the beautiful winter sun, taking turns uncovering and eating the edibles left underground. It was quite a show. Magnificent birds, who didn't truly concern themselves with our faces pressed up against the doors and windows of the house, demonstrated their prowess and their ability to survive. it was a clear and present lesson in how provisions are ever present. All of us were simply in awe of them as they calmly worked, ate and then switched stretching their marvelous wings on some silent cue and switched places.


The picture illuminated one of the messages within - How much abundance surrounds us? Not exactly every week, but, very often my dear friend Alan, will stop by with food. Items that have been thrown out by our local supermarkets. Perfectly good to eat, these rescued foodstuffs make their way back to my table and in short order are enjoyed. The price, of course, is right as well and it continues to baffle us as to why this cannot be a constant occurrence. Apparently, Alan, had to sign a document swearing not to resell anything while jumping through a number of other bureaucratic hoops. He has quite a circuit of people that he serves, simply because he knows they appreciate the resultant food and Alan will feed his pigs and chickens with the remainders. With food shortages, untold amounts of people suffering from poor nutrition and household food insecurity, why is it more constructive to fight against such distribution instead of embracing it?


At this point in the conversation fingers are definitely being pointed. So many of "those" kinds of people are responsible, right?


Truth is, I work at not reacting as a matter of habit so easily any longer. I believe in another way - a way which has and is catching on. I don't look at "them" I look at "me". What do I do to contribute to this situation? What beliefs do I hold that spur on this lack of balance. How have I held on to "things" much too long. Do I hoard? Do I have TOO MUCH? Absolutely, yes! Especially considering that for the 2nd time in 6months - this past April, I moved all my belongings to storage quarters. Do I have TOO MUCH STUFF? DEFINITELY! And, I have no permanent abode - imagine if I had inhabited the same house for many years, a family home, as it were.


It's one thing to collect, to acquire yet, when you are without a permanent home? Is that a constructive activity? Nope, no, no way, not at all. Everything I accumulate - I have to carry and given that I'm 3 weeks out of hip surgery, with another one impending - carrying is not an activity I take lightly. But, is it merely about "things"? I think not.


We are the carriers - we carry thoughts - we carry thought patterns - we carry emotions - we impress beliefs upon our beings and take them on as gospel. And all this weight, although supposedly unseen, crushes us over time adding to more accumulation of nothing. Slower speeds, reflections, reflexes, recall, alienating many, cluttering our minds, our inner selves, which manifests in our numerous physical and psychological systems and bring us to who we are on a daily basis. Book bags, instruments, knapsacks, attache cases, messenger bags, leather satchels, duffle bags on wheels, even the coveted Filson canvas bags, are all the same device. More weight, more to carry, more to slow us down, hold us in place.


As if this isn't enough - we do even worse - for we carry chatter. Whole conversations, arguments, lists of things to do, worries, future fights, points of view to make sure we win said future argument, or of course, the famous - "...if only I'd said THIS..." still seeking to top the opponent who bested us and thus left us crazy with remorse at losing . What does that whole situation bring us?


Muddle. Plain and simple. Muddle, enough to stop us from hearing, knowing, perceiving, and therefore we remain struggling, worrying fretting, gnashing and forging ahead to the incessant continuation of the cycle. Can we stop? Yes.


Would the hawks have ever found the snowbound bone complaining and fighting within and without about being hungry? You know the answer. They know the silence and they know the reality of being. So do we. However, It is quite a bit harder while addicted to all this chatter. Quiet the mind - get to know your breath and your body, but, first. Trust. "What do I trust?"... You and your self.



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