In Beauty May I Walk
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.
Why do you suppose this poem is redundant with the word "walk"? What connotations does the word have? What does it sound like? Feel like? Let's start with its sound. Can you hear the heavy trodden placement of each foot, one right after the other. Slow, methodical, conscious, repetitious. There is a lot of repetition in life; the triad of birth, life and death. The lessons learned in climbing one symbolic mountain, then exhaling all the way down. Then another life lesson comes by and we inhale up that mountain to find the exhale is just as rewarding coming down from this mountaintop.
Walking is grounding. It is connecting with Earth's energy in the most natural and basic way. Have you ever gotten so angry, so upset, that you had to just take off to go for a walk? Maybe a run? No destination in mind but just the airing element of leaving stuff behind that sets the soul free. And the grounding earth element finally helping you regain stability and balance so you can, once again, return home. But this time, it is different. This time you have breathed in the essence of the walk and surrounded your heart chakra energy with the beat of each footprint against the ground. Home.
This poem talks about beauty, but don't overlook the fact that the walk, in itself, is beauty. If I were to ask you to close your eyes and imagine yourself peacefully walking, I am guessing the picture that emerges is you walking somewhere you consider beautiful...a beach, a forest path, a flowery field, a cemetery, the sidewalk where you grew up... I highly doubt you would imagine yourself walking through a scary neighborhood or a grocery store aisle or a crowded airport, right?
On native-american-market.com, it states,
"There is a Navajo ceremony that bears the name "Beautyway".... During the ceremony, the patient, the person who is ill, is there in order to re-establish balance and beauty in their life. The reasons why one may lose their sense of beauty, of balance and of harmony are many. But the cure, for the Navajos, is one and the same. One must find the way to Beauty, and if one wanders away from this way, from the Beautyway, then one must re-establish one's link to the natural world in order to regain it."
Poems, like the one above, were chanted or sung to those ill in hopes of helping restore their balance. Chanting sounds methodical, much like the methodical placement of feet on the ground when walking. The chakra bija (seed) sounds are chanted to help the energy centers stay balanced.
"To Walk in Beauty means not only walking physically. It also, and primarily in fact, means being in harmony with all things and all people, with all objects, all the animals, all the feelings, the plants, the weather and all the events in your life. It means being at peace, serene in the knowledge that all around you is well and that you are well with everything in your life. You accept and are accepted, there is nothing that pulls you in one direction or the other, the polarities are neutralized, you are one with everything. You are ready to walk in Beauty. "
THAT IS YOGA.