Amidst all the insanity and meaningless chatter that overwhelms us each day, every so often we get a break – and get hooked into nature’s Sanity Support System. We have little control over when the blessed intervention will take place, how often it will occur, or what its components may be.
In my book Action! Nothing Happens Until Something Moves, I describe one such experience I had on a beautiful sunny day in November, when I was still in my mid-twenties. I was driving on the Grand Central Parkway on my way to JFK International Airport, and my mind was exploding with a thousand and one thoughts about all aspects of my life.
Then, just as I began steering my car south onto the Van Wyke Expressway, my entire life seemed to freeze into sharp focus. It was as though I were being given the means to solve all my business and personal problems simultaneously. It was an impossible-to-describe feeling of total control.
Instead of having to exert the normal intense mental effort to sort out my thoughts, every item that was of importance to me at the time – perhaps 40 or 50 in number – instantly became clearly fixed in my mind in such an orderly fashion that I felt almost omniscient.
It was as though a bright light had suddenly brought my thoughts out of the dark recesses of my subconscious and allowed me to concentrate on all of them at one time. It was a feeling of immense power, joy, and ecstasy.
I live for Sanity Support moments such as these, and only wish that I had the power to bring them into my life more frequently. Still, I’ll take what’s given to me – and this past Sunday evening, a lot was given.
My wife and I had been out for several hours in the humid 95-degree summer heat. When we finally arrived back home, I turned down the air conditioning, kicked back, and cooled off for an hour or so. As time passed, ominous storm clouds began moving into view.
For reasons I cannot explain, and contrary to my Felix Unger personality, we decided to go outside and stroll around on our veranda. There was a deliciously strong breeze blowing, which swept away all thoughts of such secular issues as politics, money, crime, and, above all, petty and banal matters.
And to top it off, coming from our outdoor speakers was a soothing voice from another time – Neil Sedaka. We’re talking Solitaire, King of Clowns, Love Will Keep Us Together…and more. Surely, heaven has Neil Sedaka piped in.
But Neil Sedaka’s wasn’t the only music we could hear. He was just one part of a massive symphony that nature was presenting.
There is a huge conglomeration of tall trees to the left and somewhat distant from our veranda, which creates a shield from the outside world. For what seemed like an eternity, the wind whipped those trees into a choreographed frenzy that brought with it a windy, rustling melody – a melody that seemed as though it were being guided by a master conductor.
It immediately brought to mind the “melody of life” that the late Guy Murchie wrote about so eloquently. According to Murchie, as well as others whose understanding of such scientific issues is far beyond what my brain is capable of absorbing, the earth and every other “sphere” in the universe oscillate much like musical instruments. Supposedly, the two fundamental “notes” to which the earth oscillates are one vibration every 53.1 minutes and another every 54.7 minutes – but I’m not the guy to ask about it.
I do, however, know this: There was music and choreography going on in those trees, and it was happening all around us – as far as the eye could see. If my description is inadequate, it’s because the scene is impossible to describe. Moments like this have to be experienced firsthand.
On and off, light raindrops fell. Like the few other times when nature has hooked me up to her Sanity Support System, I was immersed in metaphysical magic that I did not want to come to an end. I tell you, a man could solve all the world’s problems if he could exist in such a state of high awareness throughout his life. (Buddha? Confucius? Jesus? Baha’u’llah?)
The rain started coming down more heavily, and we were forced to retreat inside. But we talked about those otherworldly moments we had experienced on the veranda for quite some time. I will never forget that evening.
You’ve undoubtedly had similar experiences in your own life… times when you felt only peace and tranquility… and, perhaps for a brief moment, a connection to all the knowledge of the universe. I hope so. But, if not, your time will come.
One bit of advice: When nature’s Sanity Support System makes its appearance, seize the moment. Whatever else you may be doing at the time can wait. Nature, on the other hand, will not. Nature is impatient when she is ready to connect you.