CSUN Koi Pond

Whenever I can squeeze it in, I walk our dog, Aki, over to CSUN to visit the Koi pond garden. It’s so peaceful there, and I like to watch the many Koi fish swim around. There are so many now. If I am lucky, the turtles will surface for a visit. Sometimes I bring the kids and we bring dry dog food to feed to the fish. The fish put on quite a show swimming up to gobble it down. I’ve been visiting the garden from its inception and have seen it when it was beautifully maintained with clear water and unclogged fountains, and also through the wind and rainstorms with no fountain activity and murky water. When I go alone, I usually sit on a bench or a rock and attempt to clear my mind by watching the fish and imagining a life so serene. Whatever do they think about? I watch the fountain as well. I attempt to clear my mind of all of my impending obligations and just take in nature’s beauty.

Lately, I have been pondering free will vs. destiny. It seems to keep coming up into conversation as a recurring theme. As I watched the fountain, I was inspired by the water formations. It all sprung up from one central source taking water from the middle of the pond. Most of the water went straight up and landed within a small radius surrounding the source. However, the longer I watched, the more diversity I noticed. There were a few drops that flew much higher than the rest of the stream. There were some drops that veered off to the side, and hence landed outside of the radius of the rest of the falling droplets. Sometimes the entire stream leaned ever so slightly to the right or to the left. Some of the drops coming down collided with the water streaming up, and their paths were forever changed. Each drop had its own effect upon landing into the pond, causing its own little ripple, however unnoticed it may have been. Up from the pond, back to the pond went the water. We could know from where it was coming up, but we could not know where each drop was going to land. That depended upon many things such as wind activity, water pressure, and maybe even whether or not a fish was swimming nearby.

It made me think of all of humanity. I believe we all spring forward from the great oneness of existence. We are all connected. But where we land, and how we return to that oneness, is to be determined based upon many different factors. Perhaps the Einsteins’ of this world could be represented by the drops that shoot much higher than the rest of the stream. The drops shooting off to the side could stand for those people who choose to live their lives unconventionally. Then there are large significant groups leaning to the right or the left. But, for the most part, the water shot up, and came down, as most people are born, live an average of seventy some years, and die, not too terribly far from where they came into this world. Some drops never got the chance to shoot up to their highest potential, being pushed down by external forces. The first thought that comes to mind is of Africa with all of its death. So many of the kids born there never have a chance to grow. Some drops were boosted higher than they ever would normally have ascended to due to yet other external forces. These are kids born into opportunity or special circumstances, perhaps being influenced by special teachers that they happened upon by chance. Tiger Woods comes to mind for some reason. I don’t really know anything about the man except that he is exceptional at what he does. I read one time that his father was his biggest proponent. If his father had not had the means to be available, would Tiger have risen to the top? I don’t know. So it seems we come into this existence from a central source, and are released into the pool of our earthly existence. From there both internal and external forces are at work upon us influencing our outcomes.

I used to believe in the old adage, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Well, as cynical as it may sound, I no longer do. I believe that we can work toward goals, but that our work, in and of itself is not sufficient for us to attain those goals. There are external factors and forces to be reckoned with. I am now of the belief that our destiny is preordained by the greater oneness of being, and we cannot know why. Some people are born into wealth and some into poverty. Some wealthy people become poor and some poor people attain great wealth. But I do not believe it is by sheer determination that one can overcome poverty or other obstacles. It has to be part of the plan. The water droplet cannot choose to land off to the side, in and of its own accord. Either the wind has to be blowing, or it has to collide with other drops either rising or falling. I do not mean this to be an excuse for not trying to achieve one’s goals, but rather an explanation as to why some cannot achieve their goals no matter how much effort they put into it, while others seem to achieve so much seemingly by accident.

More Quotes by Mother Teresa


"Faith in action is love, and love in action is service.  By transforming that faith into living acts of love, we put ourselves in contact with God Himself, with Jesus our Lord."

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"Christ is hidden under the suffering appearance of anyone who is hungry, naked, homeless, or dying."

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"People are hungry for God. Do you see that? Quite often we look but do not see. We are all passing through this world. We need to open our eyes and see."

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"We must convert our love for Christ into deeds. We must express Christian love in concrete, living ways."

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"Let us bring love and compassion to win the world, to bring the world the gospel of Christ. Let us all bring the good news that God loves the world!"

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"You who have received so much love, share it with others. Love others the way that God has loved you, with tenderness."

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"Communion with Christ gives us our strength, our joy, and our love."

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"All of us must be saints in this world. Holiness is a duty for you and me. So let's be saints and so give glory to the Father."

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"My prayer for you is that you come to understand and have the courage to answer Jesus' call to you with the simple word 'yes'."

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"Love does not measure; it just gives."



"There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic." 



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"People who love each other fully and truly are the happiest people in the world. They may have little, they may have nothing, but they are happy people. Everything depends on how we love one another."



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"When I was crossing into Gaza, I was asked at the checkpost whether I was carrying any weapons. I replied: Oh yes, my prayer books."

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"If you have a sick or lonely person at home, be there. Maybe just to hold a hand, maybe just to give a smile, that is the greatest, the most beautiful work."

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"Prayer gives us a pure heart and a pure heart can do much."

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"Keep your heart pure. A pure heart is necessary to see God in each other.  If you see God in each other, there is love for each other, then there is peace."

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"The poor do not need our sympathy and our pity. The poor need our love and compassion."



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"I don't know what God is doing. He knows.  We do not understand, but of one thing I'm sure,  He doesn't make a mistake."

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July 4, 2005
Next Post date Agust 1, 2005
Muslim Toilet (Remind me never to visit!)

St. Teresa's Prayer:

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.

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Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.

-Mother Teresa

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"Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet, especially your family. Be holy--let us pray."



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"There is no greater sickness in the world today than the lack of love."



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"We can do no great things; only small things with great love." 

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"God loves a cheerful giver. She or he gives best who gives with a smile."



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"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread."



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"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."



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"We need to find God, and God cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees and flowers and grass--grow in silence. See the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life."



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"God made the world rich enough to feed and clothe all human beings."



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"The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven. And St. Peter said, 'Go back to Earth, there are no slums up here.' "  



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"Pride destroys everything. To imitate Jesus is the key to be meek and humble in heart."



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"God has created us to love and to be loved, and this is the beginning of prayer--to know that he loves me, that I have been created for greater things."

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"The joy of Jesus will be my strength--it will be in my heart.   Every person I meet will see it in my work, my walk, my prayer--in everything."

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"Keep the light of Christ always shining in your hearts. Only He is the Way to be trodden.  He is the Truth we must speak out. He is the Love we must love."

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