Road Trip Day 1: Alignment

June 15, 2016

The first thing I notice when I get here in the redwood forest is misalignment.

The trees are hugging the earth, linking roots with each other, reaching for light. Moving on a time scale we can’t see.

We humans came and built campsites. Now we come back to get away from the homes and cities and civilizations we’ve built, bringing our baggage — physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual — with us.

Sitting for my dinner at an uncomfortably tilted picnic table as the bugs start to swarm, the sky gets dark, and the air gets cold, the question comes to mind: how to resolve the misalignment? Do I try to change the environment around me to line things up better? Do I try to change my attitude to accept everything as it is?

A third possibility emerges. What if misalignment is a given, an unavoidable condition of our lives? The world as it is now is not the world I once expected to live in. Accept that. Every day, change what I can, in the world and in myself. Learn to create harmony. Align with the misalignment.

The next morning I wake up early, bundle up against the cold, brew up a mug of hot Dragon Well tea, and sit down to meditate. Soon I can hear the redwoods singing.

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