Rain comes, and birds —
Silhouettes against the pearlescent sky —
Respond excitedly in song.
They open their throats to heaven’s nectar,
And rhyme with the drops.
All of nature is song. Sometimes the song is in a minor key, with purple tones that stir the soul, bursting the heart with pent-up emotions. Sometimes it is joyous, full of rich melodies and grand chords that bring electric thrills. Sometimes it descends into strange modes, guttural chants, and obscure dissonances. It is up to each of us to sing as we feel moved by the overall song of life. Do we harmonize with it? Do we sing a counterpoint? Do we purposefully sound discordant tones?
Perhaps a student first encountering Tao endeavors to harmonize with it, but that isn’t all that there is to having a relationship with Tao. Tao gives us the background, the broad circumstances. It is up to us to fit into it, go against it, or even flutter off on oblique angles. Don’t look at Tao as one big inexorable stream in which we float like dead logs. What could that lead to except logjams?
No, let us be like the birds. Who sing when Tao sends them rain. Who know what to do when winter comes. Who embroider the sky with their own unique paths. Who will sing a counterpoint when they need to. Who will sing poetry that is discordant when it must be and rhymes when it is proper.