Waiting and Hope

The phrase popped up unexpectedly during a search for something else on this ‘first day of the year,’ and as sometimes happens with a voice heard in passing through a crowd, reverberated strongly, leaving an impression that persisted long afterward. It is from Hazrat Inayat’s  Nature Meditations, inspired by seeing trees at night:
My heart stands in waiting and hope
as the trees stand still through the darkness of night.*

The sentence brings together several threads – stillness, waiting, hope, and darkness.  The seeker waits, like the trees, because the light is absent, but like the trees, which have grown by the power of light and are made to live in the light, whose own being and structure is a testimony to the existence of light even though it may be imperceptible at the moment, we wait for the illumination to come.  And perhaps the way that the phrase stepped forward and called attention to itself is also part of its teaching, in that it was unsought for.  Often, the best ‘gifts’ of the moment are the ones we did not know we were looking for.  In other words, if we hold too tightly to our concept of what we want, we exclude the other possibilities that the stream of life may bring.  Perhaps that is the real sense of ‘stillness’ in this context: to be empty—empty of agendas, and therefore empty of complaints—so that whatever comes will fill us.

And of course the phrase also gives us comfort because it tells us that the darkness is temporary, not permanent. If we understand the heart as a capacity, then the phrase assures us that the capacity will indeed be filled when the moment is right.  Could there be a better  thought with which to begin the New Year?

*The Nature Meditations are phrases based upon some aspect of nature, keyed to the breath so that one can contemplate the image while silently breathing the thought.  In the case of this phrase, the first line would be placed upon the inhalation, and the second line would be placed upon the exhalation.  

2 Replies to “Waiting and Hope”

  1. Azim Smith

    Dear Nawab and Nirtan
    Happy New Year ! I’ll try to send some Australian Summer heat attached to this post.
    Thank you for the beautifully simple yet profound Nature Meditation
    An inspired offering to the New Year
    I was drawn to consider the parallels with a recent book ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben. This book celebrates the many , often unseen ways that trees and all of Forest Nature communicate , cooperate and even show compassion for each other.
    It’s changed the way I look at our farm !
    Now at the floor of an old Northern European forest , light levels are very low [3% of full sunlight ]
    A yew tree grows frugally and patiently and may reach 6 m in 100 years without flowering. This slow growth however produces very strong , resilient and flexible wood.
    Yew was the favoured timber for the longbows of the Middle Ages.
    When eventually a neighbouring Beech or Oak falls over , the yew responds to the light , growing rapidly to 15m and flowering. The leaves also change to be more receptive to the stronger light . The old leaves may even be burnt by full sun.
    The yew can live for another thousand years !
    Patience , hope and an eventual flowering.
    With Gratitude


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