ZUBIN
MATHAI
author of the oarsman
A Beautiful Ache
March 27, 2016

It was a perfect day with a beautiful ache. On a walk, an explosion of green fire from rippling bushes laughed to the wind, a brown gravel tumbling river complete with waterfalls pretended to be a mountain road, and a tree was so still that it was the most unbearably moving thing within a moment.

The beautiful ache almost made me cry when passing people on the trail, seeing their faces, or when standing in the store and staring at the cascade of colors on a shelf . The mind said don’t stare, don’t cry, for that is not normal. What a world this is, that feeling the fullness of an overflowing heart, the aching appreciation of this present and perfect moment, is not normal.

The ache bubbles up to the surface of a quiet mind; it comes as a friend, as Love seeing everything as Oneness. The mind dusts it with a feeling, and language calls that feeling an ache. An ache of Love, an ache of appreciation for everyone, an ache of longing for union with the divine, and a laughing ache that sees union is already here.

An ache usually implies distance and lack. But this ache is from briefly feeling it cannot contain all the beauty of this moment, and then the ache transforms into appreciation that the heart can hold it all and more.

The ache is the current of Life, absolute stillness, and yet like those rippling bushes on the mountainside, it is complete and on fire.