Some weeks ago I was sitting in a train station. Somewhat bored, as my train was late, I decided to take the time to have a conversation with the spirit of the place. And so I quested for a connection…
…and found the roof above the tracks responding. Only, in that moment what I saw was not simply glass and steel, but a gentle giant who was hunched over the tracks in a protective gesture, as if saying: ‘do not worry, little ones, I will keep you safe’. And I felt blessed, for I felt loved. And so I began a conversation. Here is what I learned that day:
This is me, a collection of glass and steel and what you call concrete.
I am a child of humanity. You created me and gave me my current shape. And so I was born. Or rather, reborn.
For it is your illusion that you are master of the universe, and that you are architect of the world. For I am more than what you made me. I have existed since the dawn of time, and it is those memories that made me into rock and stone and mineral that you could shape.
If I am strong, then that is because I have lived through the shaping of this planet. I am stardust, forged in fire, soothed by wind and shaped in water. For millions and millions of years. I am far older than even your oldest ancestors.
And yet, I have consented to serving you, to become part of your world. I do not ask for gratitude, but I would like to ask for recognition, for a change in your consciousness, a realisation that you are part of this world, one of its youngest family members, and you can live the way you live because your older siblings allow you to play.
Why am I choosing to be what I am now? For yes, just like you humans choose life in a human body, so I chose to become more than just the sum of my parts: I am not just the union of glass and steel and concrete, I am Roof. It gives this being that I am a chance to experience Protecting, to experience a life that consists of sheltering. And I am content with that.
It may not seem much to you, but remember that my lifespan is far different. The time I will exist in my current form is but an instant for me. It is, if you wish, like a single thought or a single breath of yours. And so I do not mind, for this experience enriches me: it is like learning a new verb, one that I may need again someday in a million years, when your race has long since left this planet. And so you too will live on then, because when that time comes I will remember my exchange with you.
If I can give you one piece of advice, then this would be it: remember that your life is lived in relationship. That is where its ultimate value lies. Do not forget that. Every moment, in everything you do, you are in conversation with the world around you. You should cherish that.
And remember that proper deep relationships take time. They don’t happen with items you use once and then throw away. If you have come to think that inanimate objects have no soul, then that is the sole reason: that your kind no longer finds the time to talk to us. Realize that you are missing out on quite a few lessons that way,…
Text and images by Beith.
Beith is a druid who likes to wander through the forest, inviting the trees to be her teachers in life. She also runs a personal blog about her druid journey, that can be found at wandering-the-woods.com.
In real life she’s a mathematician, trying to walk the boundary between the rational and the irrational.
11 thoughts on “The giant in the train station”
I enjoyed this perspective. But, And yet, I have consented to serving you, to become part of your world. I would guess it was not consent but by force. Not that in the end it would matter much. But it may serve to hasten that end.
I see your point from a materials perspective. Transforming rock into metal and glass with heat and pressure could be seen as pretty violent. Though those are the same processes that transform sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks too. Something to think about. When I read Beith’s article I wondered if we ought to contact the architect. What would his or her response be? When they were creating the design did they intend to create an atmosphere of safety and security? I’d love to know more about the workers who built the place. Did they feel a sense of accomplishment in creating a thing of beauty? What were they feeling and thinking as they went to work each day? If I were the building what little dramas would I see before me everyday? Are the people mostly bored, anxious, happy? Some places do create a sense of calm and ease. There is a little market area near my house where if you wander around everyone seems to be smiling. As they pass more often than not they bother to say hello. Something about that area builds community. If I go the local supermarket chain the feeling is utterly frantic.
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I worked on some cool projects like this before and the atmosphere can be upbeat and fun. The day to day stuff gets old, but once in a while you get to do something that adds beauty or a neat perspective or purpose to the area. Those are fun. I built a couple of ski lodges and worked into the winter up in the mountains. Some of those buildings actually added beauty to the existing nature and were quite fun. That was 30 years ago and every time I see them it’s a good memory.
Oh, and if I were an element, I would volunteer for a few hundred year stint at a ski lodge. Then I would go work at a National Park lodge (if it had a good view). Hehe
hahaha I hear you!
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On the other hand, how much consent is involved when a rock is ground to sand by a glacier? The fact that something is shaped for human use does not necessarily need to be negative. Aren’t creative projects some of the most worthwhile things humanity has to contribute to the world? One of my next posts will be about the spirit of trash. When we use materials with the intention to throw them away after just a few minutes of use, then we are ‘raping’ our planet.
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I did a trash post a while back about religion. I’ll link it in your next post if it’s applicable (and ok with you).
Sure, I’d love to read it!
This is a lovely post, Beith!
“If I can give you one piece of advice, then this would be it: remember that your life is lived in relationship. That is where its ultimate value lies. Do not forget that. Every moment, in everything you do, you are in conversation with the world around you. You should cherish that.” I love this!
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