The World Within Us

inner world watercolor painting woman portrait profile

The sun rising over the trees and infusing them with light is a wonderful sight.

But what of the forest of neurons with their axon and dendrite branches forming together the neuronal landscape that sustains our thoughts and emotions?

A cascade and the river into which it flows are awe-inspiring, a scene worth traveling to miles, and worth remembering.

But what of the cascade of blood flowing from the heart into the vast network of inner rivers, the veins and the arteries, that bathe our muscles and our organs?

We hike mountains and breathe in the glorious air on their crests, from which we see the scenery opening below them, the land at our feet.

But what of the strength and steadfastness of our spine holding the rest of us together, what of its gentle climb, vertebra after vertebra, into the seat of consciousness?

The gentle rolling of waves on the beach, the chirping of the birds in a park, the music of a skilled band of musicians—wonderful sounds, always welcome.

But what of the purposeful grace of the stirrups, the tiniest bone in our body, no bigger than this letter “u”, which helps turn external vibrations into a nerve impulse that becomes a sound—a dear one’s voice, a song played on repeat, the soft breath of the wind through the trees.

There’s so much beauty even in a speck of dust suspended in a shaft of light slanting through the window.

But what of the 0.001 mm cells that make up most of us, the cells to whose beauty we are blind without a microscope?

We pass our days unaware of the world within us.

And when we do become aware of it, it’s often for medical reasons, unpleasant ones.

Our eyes are blind to the world within us.

We can’t admire the racing of an idea through the brain as we do the flight of a bird.

Or the gyri and sulci of the cortex as we do the golden dunes of a wide beach.

And yet there’s a wonderful world within us that contains us even as we contain it.

And when we breathe, or take a step, or drink a glass of water, we become one with it the same way that the sky becomes one with the lake in the reflection on the surface of the water…

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