“No matter how the wind howls, the mountain does not move.”—Chinese proverb
If one can imagine a mountain during a storm, it is easy to visualize trees being swept from side to side, little animals scurrying around looking for shelter, and even an occasional bolt of lighting as it mercilessly hits an unfortunate tree; the wind howls fiercely, quickly impregnating the forest with the echo of its inconsolable cry.
For a few terrifying moments, which seem to have no apparent end on sight, the air itself is swollen with fear and apprehension, and every creature’s heart beats faster at the rhythm of a primal song, haunting and unknown. When the storm lets down, and the wind dies out, damage is widespread. Some trees are down; leaves are everywhere; the valley is flooded by rainwater. Yet, aside from superficial damage, the mountain hasn’t moved.
When we are surprised by a life storm, we are hardly ever prepared. As the winds of change blow through our relationships, or through any of the sanctuaries of our self-security, fear washes over us, and we hope for the best while expecting the worst.
Regardless of how strong the storm is—and how severe the superficial damage to our lives may appear—our inner core remains untainted. As long as we choose to identify our solidity with the damage we observe in our superficial surroundings, we are under the false illusion that our world is falling apart, when all that is coming undone is only the part of our lives which needs to be cleansed and renewed. Under the surface, where the true foundation of our being resides, we remain untouched. Our inner ground is cleansed and enriched by the storm, and will support future growth sprouted by seeds blown in our direction, fed by the decomposing debris.
The mountain does not move; it never did and never will, no matter how hard the wind can ever dream to blow.