I just got home from a week in Tucson, AZ. For seven blissful days I slept in, walked, stretched, ate, laughed until my stomach hurt and got waaaay more into a drum circle than I ever thought possible. Who knew? (I blame the desert.)
Stephen and I talked for hours on the phone each night and my friends built a human wall so I didn’t get attacked by a tarantula who was stalking me (read: it was minding its own business and I had to WALK past it (!!) to get to my room). I was buffed and scrubbed, massaged and balanced out. There may have been talk about chakras.
And then I came back to the real world.
La rentrée has been painful.
Charlottesville, Barcelona and for some friends closer to home, the painful loss of a wonderful person who left them much too soon.
I wake up and try to figure it out. I move throughout my day and wonder. I talk to others to try and understand. But hate is so fundamentally wrong I don’t understand how there can even be a moment’s debate.
Stephen and I see a guy driving an enormous red truck flying an equally enormous confederate flag in the grocery store’s parking lot. He couldn’t have been more than 16. I stare open mouthed and can’t take my eyes off his youth, his glaring disconnect. I wonder if he’ll look back in a few months…years…ever (?) and shake his head at what he was thinking.
I don’t know what to do.
I want to help. God, I want to help. I don’t know where or how. I start looking for causes that are already deeply entrenched in standing up for what is right. I donate money. I hope to donate my time if they’ll have me.
When I was in Yellowstone earlier this summer, the wind blew my hat off my head and closer to a geyser than I was comfortable being. I didn’t want anyone to go in after it but I also didn’t want to leave it in case it would somehow hurt the bacteria and landscape.
An older Chinese woman came to my rescue and used her cane to reach down and retrieve my hat. We didn’t speak each others language, but we laughed and she nodded as I said “thank you, thank you.” She motioned putting my hat on and holding it down so it didn’t blow away again. I nodded back in understanding.
Kindness is everything. Seeing the humanity in each other is everything. I continue to ask for guidance, pray and meditate for peace, hold open doors for strangers, offer to listen to friends. And I hope, when called, the spirit of the woman who saved my hat moves me into action too.
Every morning in Tucson I’d tear up at the end of our half hour mediation when the whole room would say “namaste”.
“I bow to the divine in you.”
In the drum circle we discover the word “ase,” an African concept where there is power to make change. In churches here we say “amen.”
I’m moved equally no matter the language. Truth and light have that power.