My husband is so smooth. Recently, as part of the kids bedtime routine, Chris initiated a 3 minute meditation after brushing teeth and before reading. The kids have taken to it easy peasy as a matter of course. Like, obviously. They pile into bed, set the timer, close their eyes and breathe. And perhaps, as Eider suggests, turn into piles of goo. We are keeping up with it on the nights when papa is away, adding some mantra here and there as we feel like it. It has been a great lesson for me in the relative ease that there often is in applying practices or behaviors that often seem like they should require special circumastances outside of my reality. But mostly, it has been a lesson for me in Noticing.
Many years ago, I was sobbing on a sofa in a waiting room of a Network Chiropracter when a very little girl, probably under 2 years old, came over to me put her hands on my knees. She starred unblinking into my wet red eyes and then crawled up onto my lap and let me hold her until I was done crying. At the time, I was doing quite a bit of inner child work and digging into the big wounds of my childhood and early adulthood and it wasn't lost on me the way in which this tiny person stepped into the role of my little girl so that I could care for myself deeply in that moment. It was pure magic. Later that same day I was on another sofa relaying my experience to my then therapist, an no-shit-taking bullet-chewing Kabala Goddess who never missed a beat. When I was through, she too looked unblinking into my wet red eyes and said: "Meg! When?!? When are you going to start naming that for what it is?" Me: "um, what, exactly, is it?" And she said, without any hesitation: "What that is, is a Gift from God."
(ok, while I am not here to get into any kind of chewy conversation over the use of the word God, I do want to be clear that we have a pretty secular thing going on over here and while I have always been very oriented toward the divine, that orientation is of a more pagan variety.)
Over the last few weeks I have been on a countdown to a particular date. The date originally meant one thing but when Chris took a new job out of state, it also began to mean another thing as well. And while I was interested in getting past my not-due-date, I was not so interested in my husbands last day living at home. So, with a big mix of heavy feelings, I attended a Hot Yoga class on Thanksgiving morning, alongside one of my favorite local teachers. After class, while we were chatting, I told him that Chris and I would be in his class the following day, or THE day, and that we were very much looking forward to it. He has been a steady source of support for us individually and as a couple- whether he knows it or not. However, he said that he wouldn't be there because he and his hubs had tickets to the Vienna Boys Choir at the same time as his usual class. Which is funny, as I had just hoped to win tickets to the very same performance from Eider's violin group earlier in the week. Anyhow, I go into the locker room, shower, change, and when I come out he is there waiting for me to tell me that he bought us 4 tickets to go with him to see the concert. He knew it was Chris' last night and in the spirit of the season and a send off of sorts, he was gifting us the night.
So, let me tell you, we are pro home bodies round these parts and it is not our first impulse to drive into the big town on the eve of a massive transition. We are more inclined to hole ourselves up and watch the minutes slip through our grasp and resist reality. Suffer in silence, as it were. But not this night. And so for the rest of Thanksgiving and then the whole next day leading up to the concert, I rode a giant wave of gratitude. I didn't feel sorry for myself, I didn't dread the passing of time. Instead I stood in full awe of the Grace that had decended into my life in the form of a loving friend and an evening out with my little tribe where we were asked to do nothing but enjoy each others company and soak up some art. I didn't miss what this was, not for a moment. And I can name it with the full force of my knowing as a Gift from God.
The practice for this noticing, this naming, is in the little things that happen everyday, almost, but not entirely, just below the surface of awareness. I, as ever, am a work in progress, but I am trying my best right now to notice these details for what they are.