"That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility." — Rumi
It is a cool and foggy morning in Maine—the air thick with the memory of a midnight downpour.
The sudden deluge awakened me with a start—the windows open and ushering in the sound of a powerful rain that seemed to be turned on like a faucet in full-force.
I had fallen asleep on my back with my hands over my heart—one on top of the other. I had been soaking in an awareness of the quiet—of the stillness in my being—and inviting the boundaries of my body to fall away.
Bones and cartilage and organs—and all the rest of it—separating into tiny, microscopic cells, drifting apart and dividing until there was no longer any matter to contain me.
I saw this especially in the places where I experience pain—the high-sensation of contraction surrendering its influence when expanded into pure-energy. Ancient stories about who I am and what I deserve are no-match for infinite-consciousness—at least for this brief moment of awareness sans a couple of burgeoning boys tugging at my sleeve.
I had fallen into the space just-shy-of-sleep noticing the way our original essence—my original essence—goes beyond the confines of the body, despite all-of-our-insistence on our physical form being a vessel for the soul.
In stillness I could recognize the way our personal energies continue on beyond what we might normally think of as ourselves and are met and mingled with the vitalities of others—those both in our midst, and even those far away.
Between you and me is a temple that we form together—each pair of us. You place what-you-will-about-me inside the collecting place out there in the middle of us and I will place what-I-will-about-you inside that place as well and something will be born out of it.
We can only contribute to the nature of our-half-of-the-creation. Let us strive to construct our part with the hardy materials of freedom and deep-listening and with allowing.
Let us see how it feels to focus on our part alone.
Startled by the sudden cascade of rain, my heart was beating fast as I got up to close the windows part-of-the-way and turn the bathroom light on in case Adrian came stumbling down the hallway—as he sometimes does—awakened by the bursting cloud.
Back in bed I experienced the storm differently now—more gently.
The rain was slowing-down or I was more aligned with its presence.
I thanked it for watering all of the new trees and shrubs in our yard—yet to be planted—and listened as it flowed through the gutter on the side of the house like a rolling stream and soon I drifted back to sleep.
Jonah and Adrian were dressed alike when I signed-them-in for soccer camp this morning. A cool mist grazed our skin as we walked through the parking lot—their new, stiff, black cleats with the fluorescent-green stripes clicking and clacking on the pavement.
Jonah began dribbling his silver ball—a size 4—that he picked out at a sporting goods store. Adrian held his neon-green ball, a bit smaller—his initials printed with a permanent marker just above the barcode.
Having just returned from being away, we were low on food and so after drop-off I stopped at a small, natural-food store to pick up a few things on my way home.
This store was the first place we had stopped when we moved to Maine from New York City. I remember imagining what it would be like to be a regular patron in such a nourishing space.
Despite the cool morning, the store was air-conditioned so after finding a cart I reached into my bag for another layer and pulled it on.
Just when I looked up I recognized someone I knew entering the store—a former caregiver who had looked after Jonah and Adrian occasionally for many years and whom I didn’t see often.
She had been a treasured friend to our children—introducing them to Pete the Cat and Jan Brett and it’s ok to cry but it’s also ok to stop—and now walking in she had a baby of her own hiked-up on her hip like a pro.
Both of our faces—and my heart—lit up when we saw each other.
Her son shares her lovely, brown eyes and her presence remained warm and introspective.
She is one of those people who makes you feel better for having been around her.
I had always loved that when she spoke it seemed she really meant what she said. She mentioned that she was on the side of motherhood now that I had been on when we first met.
We stood at the entrance and talked for a long time. We jumped right to the depths of sharing.
Sitting in the cart, her son offered me his bare foot and I rubbed the silky top of it. A few minutes later he stuck it out again for more and I got a glimpse of his two, little baby teeth on the bottom row.
She told me that she had written a letter to me in her head on many car-rides but hadn’t had the chance to send one in real life.
I could feel that I had received her thoughts regardless of whether they had made it to paper.
I’ve written so-many-letters-in-my-head in that very way and can only hope the messages have landed where I’ve intended them—like hers did in me.
After we said goodbye, I turned for just a moment to the produce section, moved forward and then felt drawn to look across the room where I recognized another soul-sister who I hadn’t seen in a very long while.
There was more lighting-up and putting arms around a kindred-spirit in an embrace.
I have loved this friends’ capacity for awe in our exchanges.
She has a way of opening her mouth just slightly and widening her sparkly, blue eyes in response to the magic that always seems to show up between us.
Despite the time that had passed—and the relatively short chapter we had spent together—there was an immediate knowing in our shared energy.
I told her I didn’t think I had come to the store for food after all but that it was for these crossings-of-paths that I had come. She shared that she and her daughter had planned to stop at the store after going swimming but had suddenly decided to come in then instead.
I have been thinking about whether it has all been said—whether it can all ever be said—about how exquisite this life is in both its beautiful simplicity and in its complex connectivity.
It reminds me of observing my children when they have just awakened—their bodies radiating heat from sleep in their warm beds, their cheeks soft and relaxed. With heavy eyes—partly still in another realm—they’ll whisper to me will I rub their backs and I do so willingly getting more from the experience probably than them.
Later, they will ask me about the bounds of the Universe—the Multiverse—and inquire about whether I think invasive species are a part of the food chain—they’re not, Mom.
I go on noticing because it turns all-of-the-lights-on-in-me, radiating warmth in the places I need it most, and illuminating the way forward.