As the wild winter winds blew snow sideways and shook the streetlights, I found myself travelling with incongruent balance those same chill streets.
On the intellectual level, it was a perfect example of core Taoist principles at work. Taoists understand that everything has its season and its nature. To work in accordance with the flow around you is to be successful with little effort. To work against the nature of the flow around you is to invite disaster and create difficult path for yourself.
I knew there would be rough weather and that I would be travelling by bike in the midst of it. I wore my layers and hood and extra hat, my heaviest coat and best gloves. I didn’t expect a quick or an easy ride, and brought my heavier slower cargo bike with the wider tires in case there was ice.
Instead of fighting the wind, which I had done on the way to work I found myself going in the same direction on my way home. In this situation, with the wind whipping around me and the glow of the streetlights dancing off of the freshly formed ice, I found myself warm and comfortable, barely feeling the wind as it gently helped me continue forward towards home.
Only in retrospect do I think back on it with an eye towards the lessons of harmony and going with the flow.
While I was in it, carried by the winds and surrounded by glittering trails of whipping ice crystals, I was allowed to be a center of awe and calm, an eye to this winter storm. This is the difference between knowledge and understanding, of dogma and experience. I will carry those images and feelings with me.