Archive for April 11th, 2010

I was watching the tree tops sway as the wind passed through them.  I could see how natural it was for the trees to bend and give with the wind, it reminded me of an earlier conversation with someone we had about yielding to life.  I talked with my husband about this yielding and he offered more examples of it.  The conversation led to sidewalks and why they are built in segments instead of just big long blocks of cement.  The lines in between that divide the sidewalks into segments serve as expansion joints to allow for the contraction and expansion of the cement.  Next he explained how very tall skyscrapers are designed to sway in the wind like trees and how you can feel this gentle sway if you’ve ever been in the very top levels of a skyscraper in a strong wind.  If they weren’t built this way they could potentially collapse in the face of strong wind.  Our conversation then moved to power lines and how they are built with sag in the wire and are not pulled straight and taut.  This, too, is to allow for expansion and contraction without adding stress.  And finally, we spoke of what happened when the infamous Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed, as you see in the youtube excerpt above, when it met with strong winds.  One explanation is that it was built out of solid, immovable steel, in essence without the ability to yield in the presence of strong wind.

So it seems that yielding with contraction and expansion seems to be necessary with many things.  We feel contraction and expansion, too, especially during times of great contrast.  Yet what happens when we resist that contrast?  It’s often not a very pleasant, feel good experience.  Yet when we are willing to yield and bend like the tree tops, to give ourselves over to trusting in a Universe to orchestrate things on our behalf, when we are willing to bend, to lean into, to allow, to surrender even, a palpable relief sweeps over us.  We relax, we cease the endless attempts at figuring things out and banging things into place.  We let go of worry and concern.  We become moveable, bendable, we soften and situations respond in kind.  What once seemed so challenging now seems more flexible and pliant.  We trust and like everything else we gently sway and lean into life and find our needs cared for after all, with little or no effort on our part.

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