Taylor: I am the splash in the great pond

I must not think of myself as standing on the shore making ripples in a lake…I am the splash.

Jim Taylor“I just don’t get it,” a friend told me recently. “You talk about us being stardust, about being made of the same stuff as the whole of the universe, about worshipping a cosmic God. I don’t feel connected to a galaxy out there in space somewhere.”

I do feel that connection. I find it mind-blowing that that all of us, all of everything, emerged from the same cataclysmic explosion. Whoosh! We are pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, where every piece is intimately related to every other piece, and every piece is essential to the whole.

I feel it. But I have trouble explaining it.

Then I thought of the lake out beyond my front windows. Anyone who lives by a lake occasionally throws stones into it.

The stone makes a splash. Ripples spread from the splash. As they spread, they dissipate. They grow weaker. But the ripples never fully disappear. Those ripples keep going right to the far end of the lake, even if individual ripples are no longer detectable as they blend with all the other ripples on the lake.

The ripples closest to the splash are the biggest. Steepest. Strongest. Most easily identified.

I think of the closest ring of ripples as my immediate family. They matter more to me than anything else. Although I am committed to non-violence, I would abandon that conviction in seconds if they were in danger.

The next ripple outwards might be my friends. They too matter to me, but not quite as much.

The ripples continue to expand. My local community, perhaps. The organizations I support. Or my environment—the garden I nurture, the woods I go walking in, the beach I throw stones from.

Somewhere farther out are ripples for my country, my ancestors, my profession. I feel a connection to them, but not as much as to my family and friends.

So no, I don’t feel any particular kinship to Galaxy CL J1001+0220—recently discovered by NASA at 11.1 billion lightyears away from Earth. My puny ripples will have been pretty fully dissipated by the time they get there.

But—and here’s the point—I must not think of myself as standing on the shore making ripples in a lake. I am not even the rock thrown into the lake. I am the splash.

As long as I think of myself as separate from the lake, I can never fully identify with the universe I live in.

I am not separate from the lake, or from my ripples. I am part of the lake.

Whatever I do to the lake will inevitably affect me. I am the part of the lake closest to any toxins or poisons I dump into it.

I am not separate. I am the splash; I am the lake.

The wise ones have long known this truth. The prose poem known as Desiderata said, back in 1927, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.” Joni Mitchell wrote, “We are stardust, we are golden, We are billion year old carbon…”

We all make our own ripples in the universal pond. But we are all in the same pond.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna production takes ‘The Walk’ to explore sex trafficking

The goal is to get people thinking about the situation, according to the playwright

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come 5 months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Central Okanagan school board expands whistleblower policy

School employees will now be able to report criminal activity anonymously to an independent third party

Altitunes Festival in Kelowna unveils its full lineup

The Arkells, Dear Rouge, Andrew Judah and more will take the stage Apr. 4

Central Okanagan school board cancels trip to Europe over coronavirus fears

Students were supposed to visit Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Italy

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Laughing ladies and country artists sell out Okanagan venue

Alan Doyle and I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff! back to back sold out

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Most Read