I go to bed early and wake up early. This morning when I woke I felt how my home currently contains two people and two cats. No one can enter but the four of us and yet flowers are opening right now, showing us how to open the bud we are, and offer petals for bees, birds, and friends.
We do it differently now; we connect online. A friend’s workplace has orchestrated a virtual happy hour. My book group meets online. Other groups I’m in have been doing this for years, but now these meetings offer a more intense and valued lifeline.
Nothing is taken for granted these days, not even a roll of toilet paper. Like that, change, and yet, there is a place of stability within, and gravity is here, as support and friend. Like trees, we deepen and spread our roots, and rise. We share the passage of water, tranquility, ease, and air.
Years ago I participated in a three month workshop called Eyes of the Beholder. The intention was to lead us in knowing that how we perceive ourselves is how we perceive the world. We each earned a name. Mine was Play Pal. My parents raised my brother and me to play, to view life as play. I center there now, in their view.
After going through chemotherapy and radiation, I participated in Equine Therapy. The intention was to re-empower us as we left the assembly line of medical care. I saw one horse, Challenger, as gentle, tender, and sweet. I fell into his huge eyes and lungs. My heart matched his beat. Another woman fled from the same horse. She saw him as huge and threatening. We have choice right now, choice as to how and what we perceive.
Our political leadership is scanty right now, self-absorbed, and often not appearing to understand we’re in this as a whole. Perhaps it’s too much for them to absorb, but as Thich Nhat Hanh writes and speaks each of us in this lifeboat we share can bring calm. That can be our responsibility and response. Calm, and trust, trust in the Beings we are.
In 1957, Dag Hammarskjold, a Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, wrote in his private journal Markings:
“Each day the first day. Each day a life. Each morning we must hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and give back. It must be held out empty – for the past must only be reflected in its polish, its shape, its capacity.”
This is the day for each of us to “hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and give back”. We’re in this together, a collective of hearts, reaching out our arms as we hold and embrace in a virtual hug that stirs and replenishes the one cauldron, lifeboat, and planet we share.