It’s Monday morning, a new week, and I’m awakened at 4 by my cat needing to go out.
I rise to meditate with intention to surrender to the current situation. I believe that when we surrender, we are held like a baby, rocked. Buoyancy is our rock as we lean into movement grounded in stillness, in support.
When we were cleaning out our basement, I came across a treasure trove of journals from 1993. I haven’t felt ready to go back through them, but since I’ve now exhausted every mode of distraction as I shelter-in-place, today I open to some pages from November, 1993.
I had returned from six weeks in Nepal, four of them in the region of Everest, Khumbu, and was struggling to adjust to the abundance and busyness here. I found it disorienting that people who had so much didn’t seem as happy as people who had so little. Perhaps it was the closeness to death there, and nature. Their feet knew the ground, and of course a constant bowing and saying “Namaste”, “I see the spirit in you, and therefore in myself”, also helped.
Wanting to understand and integrate my return, I walked with a friend to Tennessee Valley Beach and we talked. She grew up in the Bahamas on an island where there was no electricity, no phones. She spoke of the earth and nature, and said people who are close to the earth, who are farmers, are warmer and more generous people. She said the people on her island are religious and aren’t into material things. She said, “as you accept natural reality, you begin to understand other human beings as people, and you understand what it is to live, love, share”. She said the White House and our government do not set an example or model. That was 1993.
She then asked, “How can we survive? How can we make it better for our children?”
In Nepal, I learned to be comfortable with silence, to wait. After all, I’d returned from a small room where I spent a week with a gecko who was my friend and companion. We were together, but didn’t speak.
My friend answered, “We can love and pray. Science and religion are now connected. The mind is healing.”
She continued: “People here expect things to be handed to them but happiness is within. We are made to reach out and help each other. True happiness is when you help someone.”
I sit with that now. We’re seeing that in action. People are helping each other, seeing and feeling connection even as, or maybe because, we are isolated in place.
What matters right now, this moment?
Perhaps being with what comes, right now, this moment, is the answer.
I loved quotes then, as now, and this gem anchors this portion of my journal.
Thich Nhat Hanh:
“It is with the capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.”
“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.”
And so it is!