In the Vedanta, the question is asked how long a single life time is compared to eternity. Whatever concept one has of eternity, the vastness of time compared to the few seasons we walk upon the earth, make this walk seem but a blink in time. Perhaps no more than the first movement of a blink. Yet, despite its brevity, we have eternity to think about how we spent the time and in some beliefs, return again to learn and complete what we ran from, feared, or at the time, gave no value.
An odd thread I know, but as I walked around the lake, I saw a middle aged man standing beneath the gazebo deck at the lake's edge. Hands in his pockets, his eyes fixed on the fountains streaming upward, cascading showers of droplets and ripples dancing upon the glassy lake surface. He did not move. He was a perfect statue of hope seeking an answer. You could feel the weight on his shoulders, you could see his jaws were locked. He simply stared into the fountain. Four laps he did not move. While on the fifth he moved to his car at the crest of the hill where I turn. A quick gaze saw him sitting, hands on the steering wheel, eyes fixed again upon the fountain. Whatever the weight, whatever the answer he was seeking, he had left it in the breathing fountain of water and ripples.
Each step I took, each gaze upon the dancing wind blown leaves and the mountain peak, I wished him peace. As I saw him drive away, I sat down at the edge of the lake. With the whisper of "peace" I cast a stone in and watch the water leap upward and the ripples dance. Another stone and whisper of "harmony" and again the lake leaped upward and the ripples danced. A third stone and whisper of "laughter" and the lake leaped even higher. A final stone and the whisper of "love" almost reached the fountain and its ripples scampered to those created by the fountain.
The length of a person's life upon the earth is but a tiny ripple in eternity. Yet, eternity created us and gifted us this life, this precious ripple. As eternity casts her pebbles of peace, harmony, laughter and love, may the ripple of my life, and the stranger's who drove away with his answer, leap to the sky and scamper to join those of the Fountain.