Is one to choose a certain leaf upon the Tree of Life and pour upon it all one`s heart? What of the branch that bears the leaf? What of the stem that holds the branch? What of the bark that shields the stem? What of the roots that feed the bark, the stem, the branches and the leaves? What of the soil embosoming the roots? What of the Sun,and sea, and air that fertilize the soil? If one small leaf upon a tree be worthy of your love how much more so the entire tree in its entirety? The love that singles out a fraction of the whole foredooms itself to grief. You say But there be leaves and leaves upon a single tree. Some are healthy, some are sick; some are beautiful, some, ugly; some are giants , some are dwarfs. How can we help but pick and choose. I say to you, Out of the paleness of the sick proceeds the freshness of the healthy. I further say to you that ugliness is Beauty`s palette, paint and brush; and that the dwarf would not have been a dwarf had he not given of his stature to the giant.
The Book of Mirdad – Mikhail Naimy
I was reading a passage from one of my favourite books, and I was struck by this passage.
The cold weather and the ample snow has made many people pretty angry. They are unhappy by it and really wish that winter would just go away.
A short while ago, on the subway line, I would often see posters by the Toronto Vegetarian Association that also summed up this contrast:
Resisting the contrast takes up so much of our time. It takes away so much happiness. It certainly has done that to me when I have to wake up in the morning.
However, isn’t it the same sun that we see in the winter as we see in the summer? We just feel it differently.
Isn’t it the same time we wake up to go to the beach on an early morning as school? We just feel it differently.
Doesn’t time go by fast when we’re with someone we love compared to when we are doing something we do not like? We just feel it differently.
And so, it becomes clear that unhappiness is not in the weather. Or in the early morning. Or in the class. Or in the work. Yes, I struggle to believe this when it appears so much to the contrary. However, it is also true.
It is my feeling that is causing me unhappiness. And when I get to see that, the unhappiness becomes a bit more manageable. More possible to work with. And then it disappears.
How can I hate the weather? If it were not for winter, I would never appreciate summer. If it were not for summer, I would never appreciate the snug feel of my comforter on a cold winter day.
How can I hate the mornings? If it wasn’t for the morning, I wouldn’t be able to start. If it wasn’t for the night, I would feel guilty to stop my endeavour.
Contrasts exist to teach me that one cannot exist without the other. By hating one, I resist the other. My wanting one to go away, I make the other go away as well. Constantly playing a game of trying to hold on and resisting the other while not fully enjoying either.
So how can I love one but hate the other?