As I sat on the cliff, I looked out at the trees and river before me. I was on the edge, both physically and mentally. I was afraid. I couldn’t focus on the world around me because I was afraid to fall. But was that the only thing I was afraid of? Once I asked myself that, I realized, in order to fully understand the world around me, I need to leave all my fears behind. So, I did. And what a difference it made! Fearless, I was now able to see the beauty of all that was around me! The river, flowing endlessly on the horizon! Birds, singing in the trees behind me, bumblebees buzzing past my ears! Everything was clear!
Then I listened to my thoughts. My mind, telling me things I would’ve never noticed if I had been afraid! My mind, telling me to observe the simplicity and happiness enjoyed by the animals around me! My mind, telling me to listen to the worries that nature had, and realizing that it had none! My mind, telling me to appreciate what was there in front of me! And I listened. For the first time in a long time, I listened.
Then I noticed the grandeur of the forest around me. Nothing that mankind creates will ever be on par with the creations of nature. The flowing Hudson, glistening in the sun, reflecting the trees on its surface. The rock face below me, and beside me, formed through years of erosion, leaving behind a beautiful, flat cliff, hundreds of feet up. Plants, growing in crevices, animals resting upon it. The bee, a creature notorious for being feared by man, paid no mind to me, and continued on its journey. I was merely a guest in its home. We all are. This world does not belong to us, no matter how much we want to believe it does. This world, everything we have created, will all fade away one day, leaving only nature behind.
And then, I realized. My mind is trying to help me better myself. By telling me to look at the world around me, I’ve learned the beauty of nature. By instructing me to view the happiness that the animals felt, I realized that there is no thing more gleeful than animals. They wander, without a care in the world, merely living for themselves, living just for the joy of living! All of nature’s animals share this sense of wonder, and tranquility. All, that is, but one. Mankind.
Mankind worries itself about the smallest things! Things such as marriage, or school, the future, or the past. Man lives for others, not for ourselves! Mankind, given God’s greatest gift of thought, has used that gift in the wrong way! We have lost the tranquility that other creatures enjoy unknowingly! And we’ve lost it because we don’t live in the present. We concern ourselves with the future, who we will become, what will happen to us, where we’ll go, and we forget who we are now! We worry about our past, those we've lost, our past mistakes, our childhood, and we forget who we are! We must live in the now to reach that tranquility that I know we can achieve!
My eyes, and my mind, are opened. I sat on this cliff, thinking about the world, nature, mankind, and life, for over an hour. Time meant nothing when I was alone with my thoughts. And the fears I had about the edge? Falling? Those meant nothing to me. Why? Because falling is in the future. And from this day forth, I live in the present.