There is an expression “To walk in beauty”, that I heard for the first time some years ago, but more recently has given me a deeper meaning.
My life comrade and big love, Ann, is a soon to be certified Forest Therapy Guide in the practice of Shinrin-Yoko. Whenever Ann is guiding a group in the forest, she invites the participants “to walk in beauty”, meaning leaving the place in the same or better condition as it was before.
This means treading in the forest with respect for its flora and fauna, and making sure not to harm or disturb any of the life conditions there, e.g. making sure not to tear up the mosses from the rocks or be careful not to throw away a piece of wood that may be an insect nest. But it could also literally be seen as picking up the litter (pardon the pun), such as old beer cans and plastic wrappings.
This is a beautiful thing to do, and if practiced more broadly would mean a considerably better nature for all of us to enjoy.
But during some recent guided walks with Ann, and being on my own in the forest, I have also been reflecting more and more on the inner essence of the expression, and gradually “walking in beauty”, has to me come to have a wider meaning that could be applied to all aspects of life.
We are living in a world with so much evil and cruelty, where kindness and truth are becoming increasingly relative concepts among those having the power.
To remain decent human beings, i.e. “to walk in beauty” and leave not only the forest but also the world in a little better shape than in was before, is therefore becoming increasingly important as a counterbalance to the negative forces around us.
With the narrow viewpoint from my own social media channels, I’m so happy to everyday see so many individuals, sharing their own and others’ inspirational actions. All these persons are truly walking in beauty.
Being an inquisitive person, I also searched the Internet for the expression and found the following heart-warming Navajo prayer.
In beauty may I walk;
All day long may I walk;
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
Beautifully will I possess again
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk;
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk;
With dew around my feet may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With beauty above me may I walk
With beauty all around me,
may I walk.
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively;
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again…
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.