Tossing walnuts

Rumi writes of a thirsty man who climbed a tree to throw walnuts into a nearby stream. One by one, as the walnuts fell into the water, he could hear the sound and see the bubbles rise from their little splashes. A sensible person called him to stop, telling him that the walnuts will have been carried away by the current before the man could reach the stream to retrieve them. The man replied that his purpose was not to collect walnuts but to hear the sound of the water and to see the bubbles on the surface. “What, indeed, is the thirsty man’s business in the world,” Rumi asked? “To circle forever around the water reservoir, around the channel, around the Water, and the sound of the Water, like a pilgrim . . . .”

Starting this blog, like so much of what I write and do, it seems, has been like tossing walnuts into the stream of Life to see their effect. Meanwhile, my thirst persists. During the past six weeks or so I’ve slowed my pace, tossed fewer walnuts, until for the last three weeks I stopped altogether and with some effort at not-doing finally climbed down into the ravine and drank from the stream. The taste was sweet, fresh, renewing. I need to be careful about my reentry from this fallow season. I need to drink more, toss less.

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