All is calm, all is bright


As the hustle and bustle of the busiest time of year rolls around, take moments to meditate, or go inside yourself, to find the moments of calmness, brightness. I took a rare cab ride in a moment of frenzy, and, stuck in the gridlock, I breathed myself out of a panic about time. As I found my breath and my heart-rate dropped, I felt the calm moment of warmth and silence ensconce me within the shell of the vehicle. I looked out the window, and took this photo of the lights flashing by, in a blur and reminded myself of how important it is to stay grounded in the present so that we do not miss the moments of beauty and serenity.

Another swatch of time that I’ve snipped from the fabric of my days and clipped onto my mental bulletin board took place the day before Thanksgiving. I get into the city very early one morning a week to supervise a clinic shift. That morning, I stopped to get coffee as I usually do. In the coffee shop, there was a chill and pleasant vibe: savory aromas, music playing, and everyone moving at a leisurely pace before the wheels of the day began to grind. Maybe everyone was mentally already half into the holiday. As I was pouring the milk into my steaming cup, I caught myself singing along to the ambient music under my breath: “leaving, on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again, my love, I hate to go…” The perfect song to play to ring in what would be a weekend of traveling for many folks. Suddenly catching myself, I self consciously looked around to see if anyone had heard me. But no one had, as everyone else seemed to be equally transfixed: humming along, stirring their cups, grinding the beans, sweeping the floors- the others seemed to be caught in the reverie of the moment as well. Sort of a sad song, really, the essence of a duality- not wanting to go, but the comfort of knowing there is something, someone to come back to.

Who is your someone? It doesn’t need to be a lover, it doesn’t even need to be an/other… we all have the self to come back to. The divine self.

I realized over the Thanksgiving holiday that it takes me four days to get fully decompressed and back to my self… by Sunday night I wished for another four days to be with myself! The Lakota measure things in fours as well… four days to prepare for a ceremony, four days of the ceremony itself, four days to return from the ceremonial state. No matter how busy the rest of the year may get, let’s each take four days of down time between now and the end of the year, to put our selves back in order. To revel in our families. To cook a whole day’s worth of meals. To get good nights’ sleep. To read a whole book. To walk into the new year, calm and bright.

Happy Holidays.

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