In my search for wisdom, I have learnt two things. The first, that I am not wise and the second that wisdom can be found in the most unlikely of places and moments. Maybe this is what a banyan tree learns when it finds itself uprooted by a storm. Spending its life fabled for its strength and proliferation, it finds wisdom lying oblique amongst its children. Perplexed, still very lush, maybe it learns that roots don’t make one invincible to the impulses of life.
In my pursuit of knowledge, I have learnt two things. The first, that I know almost nothing at all and the second that what I know or don’t know in this moment, gives me the reason to breathe. Maybe that is what the black bears knew when they decided to spend the winters of their lives in a conscious-less state that ensured the coming of spring, new life and sunlight. Sleeping, dreaming, giving birth to the next generation, maybe they knew that in this recumbent state they would survive the rebirth of a year and the retelling of history.
In my ambition for learning, I have discovered two things. The first, that I am a very slow learner and the second that each hill is worth the climb and that the reward of downward sloping paths worth the wait. Maybe this is what the Northern Shoveler learns every winter that it flies over the Himalayas to warmer waters. It surmounts the wind with the instinctive wisdom of its ancestors and the knowing flapping of its wings to find its home mirrored in clear lake surfaces in other lands where the sun shines warmer and the wind is calmer, for a while.