And then the sun came through the trees

The picture above reminds me of the time in January 2010 when I took a walk at Sembawang Park. I’d moved there to live with some homeless people in a shelter (which I did for some 3 months). The home was conveniently located just across the park.

The very first morning there, I woke up early and decided to explore my new environment. I crossed the road to the path which leads up to the park. I had taken about 10 steps when I turned my head up – and froze. I had never been awed by the sight of Nature as I was that morning.

Dawn was just breaking and the sunlight was coming through the trees. It was beautiful, for sure, but there was something more to it which stunned me. Awed me. There was this incredible recognition of the beauty of Mother Nature. There was, in the midst of this physical elegance, a most peaceful silence.

I stood there for a long while, just looking. Seeing. No one else was around.

And I knew that I had been missing something all this while.

And that something is inspiration.

Inspiration which goes deep into your soul, which brings tears to your eyes and wonder in your heart.

Sometimes you are surrounded with negativity – that sapping, destructive dark energy which eats away at the core of you. Most times you do not even realise it – until someone else points it out to you. “You have changed,” a friend of mine told me one day. “You don’t smile anymore. The wonder and joy in you are gone.”

And it made me reflect, made me think about things. And she was right. It was how I felt at that time – like a drowning man clutching at straws, trying to stay afloat while sinking in quicksand. It was suffocating. Which is one of the reasons I chose to leave doing what I had been doing at that time. I realised that that was the main cause or source of my spiral down the path which was sucking the life out of me.

But I have always looked for that one thing in my life. I can’t really put my finger on it. At times, there is this tangible disconnect I feel with people around me as they are speaking or talking to me right there. It’s like there’s this invisible wall between us, and this inexplicable distance. It almost feels like an out-of-body experience – me retreating and standing apart looking at things from afar, and not understanding why I feel that way.

Perhaps I am looking for authenticity of the human experience, of being a human being. I do feel that I do not have that – that deep understanding, that visceral understanding of what Life is. Yet, I recall the times when I did come close to this and they were times when I was practising yoga.

It is the only thing which I know of which provides me a doorway to the heart of God, or Life.

But why am I looking for inspiration? And why does God/Life provide that?

Well, perhaps it is because I am tired of the seeming uselessness of a life lived purely for economic reasons. Or that the plight of the less fortunate, which I’d come across these last 5 years, have rekindled my internal desire for understanding. Or perhaps I am tired from all the negativity and negative energy which I’d been immersed in these last 5 years or so. Not that there weren’t any positivity, of course, but the negativity has been overwhelming, suffocating, and destructive.

I believe that the solution to all problems, ultimately and fundamentally, must come from a spiritual understanding of what and who we are. And that can only mean this – understanding God or Life itself.

All these experiences which I have gone through (and there are some which I’d rather not say here) have been beneficial, in the bigger scheme of things. And so, the journey continues.

Sometimes, at certain moments in life, Nature gently appears and reminds you to pause – just like she did on that morning in 2010, a time when I felt utter loneliness, after a sleepless night in the shelter, terrified of where my life had led me.

I was at the very end of my tether.

And then the sun came through the trees….


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