I grasp at joy and avoid sadness. It's not unique to me. It is the human condition. We cling to imagined good and resist the uncomfortable. I sit here, packing my belongings again, my heart aching at the prospect of leaving my mountain. I sit not knowing. I look out at a misty horizon, uncertain. Where will we live? Can I afford a house? How will I support the boys? What is all of this about? Will I know/experience love? These questions rise and fall. When I try to answer each one, my body constricts in fearful response. In its somatic wisdom it whispers the simple truth, I don't know. The mind is unsatisfied with not knowing and worry is born. The truth remains. I don't know. And so instead of "taking thought", I wrap my arms around myself and feel. Sadness. Loneliness. Joy. Hopefulness. Fear. Regret. Longing. Doubt. All of it. When there is nothing left to resist, what remains? Life.
Sometimes, when I am utterly dwarfed by majesty on all sides, I wonder how it is possible that we, as humans, can be so obviously in Eden and remain utterly blind. I listen to the repetitious thoughts that cycle through awareness...loneliness, self preservation, survival, things to do, things to fear, things to regret...on and on. I used to want to fix Angelina. It was my primary goal. To somehow sculpt her into a good person, worthy of love and acceptance- worthy of existence. I'm not as interested anymore. Her story goes on, thoughts flowing in and out. And still the sun rises. Birds sing. Stars shine. Angelina can go on being Angelina. It is okay. And I am filled with gratitude when I lift my head, my heart, my eyes and behold life. Meet this moment as you are. Meet it.
Are you listening? The leaves are singing farewell. A colorful and bawdy tune, which always fills me with a bit of melancholy. Winter is a season that I have to exert more energy to embrace...yes, even though I adore nature and appreciate it's beauty everywhere I have the internal thermostat of a reptile. I find that I have to remind myself to lean into this moment, inhaling autumns luster. Autumn is a constant reminder to be here NOW rather than holding my breath, bracing for cold. It really is a magnificent show, year after year. A symphony. An opus of color. Can you hear it?
6:00 AM Green Mountain: Somedays it just feels like the mountain is calling me... a gentle whisper and my heart leaps with longing. So I don walking shoes and these days, a stocking cap and vest, and begin my sojourn up her sloping trails before school. Occasionally my heart is heavy and I feel as if the hillsides open in embrace, each step a gift is offered. Each moment a gesture of life giving back to life. I often see my tribe. Deer. This morning I saw twenty of them along the trail. I talk to them in hushed tones of welcome, my heart breaking with love. The colors of fall are already kissing the landscape. Rich, earthy tones. A constant conversation in texture and hue. I often stop and stare, amazed that every inch can be filled with so much splendor. Hiking is rarely exercise for me. I am too slow, too awestruck...constantly bending to admire a flower, or insect...ears seeking the solace of silence or birdsong or wind. So many mysteries unfolding, moment by
Imagine what life would be like if we didn't have names for anything. If we experienced each moment in utter newness. Would we find ourselves astonished by the magnitude of beauty? Would "we" simply dissolve into that expanse of brilliance or would that splendor rise up in embrace? When the Buddha was asked what he was...was he animal, man, what? He simply responded, "I am awake". Life is inviting us into this moment, awake.
To the east To the west. In beauty I walk. With beauty before me, I walk. With beauty behind me, I walk. With beauty below me, I walk. With beauty above me, I walk. With beauty all around me, I walk. It is finished in beauty, It is finished in beauty, It is finished in beauty, It is finished in beauty. 'Sa'ah naaghéi, Bik'eh hózhó -Navajo Prayer
Is it possible to fall in love a thousand times and a thousand times over? The clear and simple answer is, YES. I do it all the time. Tumbling head first into my beloved, Without pretense or protection. I gasp and stare I marvel, astounded. An excess of abundance, freely offered. Miracles, I can't even begin to fathom Among the many unknowable delights within the panorama of life, I am an expression of some great mystery, dancing with eyes open.
I used to believe that meditation was something that I did with closed eyes and straight spine, seated on a zafu cushion with a sort of enforced reverence. Now I walk. I find that everything around me reveals unspeakable beauty and an expansiveness of life that is both boundless and breathtaking. In flowers caught with petaled arms embracing light without apology. In hilltops whispering of vistas and broad horizons. In butterflies, graceful in their victorious post-transformation dance- the caterpillar long forgotten in the bliss of flight. In my deer tribe, who come again and again, inviting gentleness and grace with every gesture and look. In tender beauty wherever it presents itself. In the chorus of songbirds, a babel of aviary wonder. In cool streams and running water. In trails, winding and wooded, leading to places I have not yet seen, each step a new adventure- each step, an invitation to open, imperfectly into this moment. Vulnerable at las