I’ve never found Hexagram 56 particularly inspiring. (I wasn’t over the moon last December to receive it as my primary hexagram for this year.) Travelling means you’re ‘passing through’; that wherever you are, it’s not where you belong, and there’s not so much you can do there. Its trigrams suggest a campfire lit on a mountain: lit today, the ashes scattered and cold tomorrow, as the travellers move on. You keep your eyes on the goal – which, whatever it is, is not here – and keep moving.
Only I get the feeling, now, that’s only half the picture. I was listening to a talk yesterday that began with a brief guided meditation for grounding: feel the ground that supports you, feel where your feet connect to it, notice the strength of gravity keeping you there securely…
Well… I was at the kitchen sink washing up as I listened, and the particular piece of ground supporting me was the grey-and-green, 1960s-lino-covered floor of the kitchen in this house we rent. It is not my ideal home, and that is not my ideal floor, and I used to spend quite a lot of my time imagining and yearning for the ideal. Only now I noticed to the full that this was, in fact, the floor supporting my feet in this moment.
This morning I read this nugget from Richard Reeve about spiritual stations, which are not just where you wait to be elsewhere. And travelling, also, is not only about looking to the destination and not belonging here. It doesn’t just mean looking forward to lighting a real hearth fire somewhere else, sometime in the future. It also means lighting your fire here on this mountain.