There are many paths through the forest and down to the sea. Each one carries a unique individual who sees the world through their own eyes, their own perceptions, and their own heart. These journeys started with one special step, leading to a thousand more, each as singular as the one before. These steps are the events in our lives, coming together to create a journey that is our current existence on the planet, combing in such a way as to form experience, memory, and thought.
As we make this journey, we encounter teachers and guides along the way. These individuals may be with us for a short time or continue throughout our entire lives and into the next. They may be children opening our eyes to the wonder of the world. They may be elders showing us the breadth of experience. They may even be the Great Teachers; Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad…brought to us through personal relationship or through the advent of text and scripture. In the end, each gives to us a small piece of the whole, a part that makes up the greater sum.
Like the mortal journey through a forest, we see the trees around us, imagining what may be out there. Watching as other paths come near and then retreat into the fog, sometimes crossing, other times running parallel. We are bound by our own perceptions, both of the world and through our hearts and minds. These perceptions are often incomplete though, giving us only a glimpse of the other paths. Even the paths that cross ours or join us for a time on our journey are only seen as incomplete by our eyes.
But with each observation, with each path crossed and friend made, we give ourselves a more complete picture of creation. We learn, we live, we love…along the way we may pass these lessons onto others, becoming teachers ourselves. At the sea, the view may not be complete but it is much more than what we began with. Each moment, each memory, each though becomes unique in its own way, given life through sharing with others. What we leave today will stretch back to friends, family, and loves…handed from one unique luminous being to another, creating the web of life.