Wolf Gap garden (detail)

I’ve been absent from Medium for the past 14 months. During much of that time I’ve been traveling and engaged in various international photo and writing projects. I returned home to Wolf Gap from India a few days prior to the advancing Coronovirus wave, and like so many others I am now practicing social distancing and staying at home as much as possible. Unlike many others, though, I have a delightful place to hunker down. I am blessed in that way. My return to Medium was prompted in part by my interest in exploring ways in which our lives can become more meaningful and more high-realized by paying close attention to where we live. This does not remove us from any membership in global society, it simply anchors us someplace. With that in mind, my next few contributions will focus on the intersections of my travels abroad and my life at home, which mutually reinforce one another. These reflections began two years ago with the series entitled “Home Ground.”

This is the first installment in my renewed engagement with Medium. Thanks for reading and looking.

Goldfish Pond

The secret to clear water in a goldfish pond is matter of beauty and balance. This should come as no surprise. When we put a pond in a garden we tend to make the world more attractive and composed, and maintaining its water clarity plays an important role in a pond’s health. If we can keep our pond water clear, it will be more beautiful and its myriad living components — plants, frogs, and goldfish — will live a much better life. Seated beside a pond of clear water, we have a better chance of seeing what is actually in it. We also stand to gain a more sagacious mind, and thus better able to look beyond the pond and garden to see greater beauty throughout the world.

A pond is considered to be in balance when it is in a condition called homeostasis. A commonplace synonym for homeostasis is equilibrium. It often appears in discussions about natural systems, society, or the state of a person’s well-being. Our personal equilibrium helps to keep us from toppling over. Through it, we also are better able to find sense in the world. It is a kind of sixth sense, also called common sense, or, more colloquially, horse sense. We tend to discover our own balance in life from it.

Excerpt from Morning Coffee at the Goldfish Pond (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2017)

Picture Pilgrim

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