Strength of Koi

Golden hues shimmer in the water.  Orange, red, yellow, brown, white and black swirl around. Translucent fins dance through the water, reminscent of scarves suspended in water.  I envision myself suspended in water. My thoughts ebbing and flowing like the dancing fins.  Shimmering light in golden hues surround me. I loosen up. I release control and let the water dictate my motion.

While I see grace in the koi, koi symbolize strength in Japan. They are known to climb waterfalls and swim upstream. They also have long lifespans and survive many different conditions. If you have never heard about koi invasion of the Illinois River, you can see a clip of their takeover here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLmJjRqXDCo. Koi is prevalent throughout Japanese art. The photo above is a prime example, with koi intricately carved into a single piece of wood.

As turbulent waters arise, I will aim for grace and strength like the koi. After all, every storm ends and calm returns.

Rainstorms: Keeping the Zen On Through the Darkness

Clouds liftingLast night, a rainstorm ravaged the mountainside in the middle of the night. Dark storm clouds sunk into the valley. For the first time, the neighboring mountains were invisible. The storm clouds blocked out the mountains of every elevation. At night, pounding rain blocked out the stars, blurred street lights, and blinded the landscape.

Safe within our temporary home, the heavy rainfall created the perfect soundtrack to fall asleep. Instead of listening to music or the whirrings of my mond, I focused on the rain. I let my thoughts and stresses wash away, envisioning a mental downpour washing out my worries.

Yesterday, the valley filled with darkness. There was no light in sight. The ominous clouds hung heavy on the town. I stayed inside and off the blinding roads.

Yet, in the morning, the clouds lifted. The valley and mountains unveiled before, greener and refreshed.The farmers went back to the fields refreshed from a surprise day of rest. The doom and gloom passed and strengthened us all.

The mental and emotional rainstorms in our life are the same. One day, challenges pour into our valley, block out the light,and sometimes we forget the light, vistas, and life are still right beside us, waiting for the storm to pass. As those dear to me face some stormy skies, may we remember the Light and life is still there. The storm will pass. May we soon be strengthened, enlivened and refreshed, and play in the sun together.