Signature of All Things: A Meditation Upon Gaillardias

Dear Travellers of lives,

Today, I woke up alone to the sound of birds, singing their morning songs. The Kinabalu Mountain was still hazy—not the morning dew, sadly. I sat outside, facing the mountain, sipping hot coffee, and listening to the songs of morning. A couple of grey birds with bronze faces were hopping from one branch to another on the lime tree, hunting for breakfast. They seemed happy—so gay and carefree, so certain and so confident living in the “NOW.” That’s nice, I thought and smiled. The mountain, regardless the haze, was certain that no matter how ugly human are treating him, time still flies, life still goes on. The blue sky, the sun, the trees, and the animals are singing the same song, resonating the same certainty of living in the “NOW,” but I did not sing with them, for I didn’t know of the existence of such tune, of living in the now, of being gay and carefree to the uncertainty of tomorrow. Yet, I’m learning the song.

I thought about time—the past, the present and the future. Time is a force that has an ability to instill fear in us (at least to myself). Fear begets worry and anxiety and tensions, and these things are the enemy of joy, of happiness, and of being in harmony with Nature and our “self.” I read some poetry this morning and Walt Whitman’s poem “For Him I Sing” made me think more about time. The lines in his poem that says “I raise the present on the past, / (As some perennial tree out of its / roots, the present on the past,)” make a lot of sense to me, and so profound. It’s true that I’m a product of my past, and these things that had happened in the past were uncontrollable and unchangeable. I am who I am today because of everything that had happened in the past—the ugly and the beautiful. Like the gaillardias (a perennial flower), their roots are messy, ugly and dirty, but the flowers are beautiful; it’s the present on the past. I thought to myself that perspective is the key; the way one responds to his or her past reflects in the kind of person he or she blossoms into—the present on the past. So, dear travellers of lives, how are you responding to your past? This is something to think about—it’s important because it affects how we live our “now,” and it affects how we face the uncertainty of tomorrow. Now, BLOOM!



A Trespassing Traveller

This Signature of All Things series is inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel, Signature of all Things 

Read the first letter from the Trespassing Traveler, “A Letter from a Trespassing Traveller to the Travelers of Lives” 


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