Tag Archives: comfort

Right About Now

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I’m discovering that
it takes more courage than I thought
to keep going in the face of uncertainty.
A part of me envies
those with established lives:
established work, established relationships,
complete with vacation plans, retirement plans,
and even plots for what remains of them
one day when they’re done with this earthly life…
Another part of me knows
that my spirit would wither and die
if I were made to exist within the confines
of so much familiarity.
Yes, my wild spirit
would not condone all these plans.
So where is the balancing point?
I’m tired of the anxiety that comes
from not knowing where I’m going.
I’m tired of feeling guilty and ashamed
that at this point in my life
I still haven’t “figured it out.”
More questions than answers,
and so easy to blame the one
who pulled the rug out from under
the stability I once enjoyed
as the female parental unit
in our family of four.
Faced with so much uncertainty,
I want to run and hide,
I want to escape…
but from what? From whom?
I realize there is no escape.
I cannot run from myself.
I cannot distance myself
from the one who craves stability
and who at the same time
wants to live wild and free.
How can I bring these warring factions
to rest within the space of awareness?
How can I get them to settle
and engage in some quality peace talks?
Ah, answer me that and I’ll dub you a shaman,
a wise one, a mentor, a guide.
Come to think of it,
seems like I need one of those right about now.

Back Home to Being

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You can begin now,
right where you are.
Don’t wait–
tune in to what is,
notice.
You aren’t trying to fix anything,
just notice.
There is a middle ground
between repressing and reacting
and there you will find
one little tender spot of awareness.
Touch it for a moment
and you might just remember
who you really are–
much more than who you think you are.
There is nothing wrong with you.
Let yourself feel what you are feeling,
breathe in all of it,
notice.
Feel the discomfort, the heaviness, the grief
on your in breath.
As you breathe out,
radiate comfort, light, relief–
for all beings who are in the same boat as you.
You can start where you are–
with all of the messiness of life,
just as it is–
the pain, the aversion, the fear,
they can all be gateways back home
to that one little tender spot of being.
Don’t wait.
Come home now,
back home to being.

Gratitude in the Snow Storm

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So grateful.
I attended day  two
of a weekend workshop today,
and Mother Nature
brought on the snow storm early.
It felt fast and furiously
through the afternoon,
and by early evening
it was impossible
for me to drive home.
My husband called
one of his clients
who is also a friend
and asked if I could stay
the night at his home,
where he lives with
his lovely partner.
I found myself
grabbing a bite to eat
at a local Thai restaurant
and trekking through the snow
to their house
just blocks from the studio.
How welcoming they were!
They put out fresh towels
on the guest room bed,
a change of clothes,
got a load of wash started for me
so that I could have clean clothes
in the morning,
and offered every possible comfort
one could ask for.
Surprise!
A vacation for me.
I miss my husband and my children terribly,
and yet…
it’s so beautifully quiet.
I will take this time as a retreat,
enjoy the quiet,
sit in meditation…
find stillness,
and silently give thanks
over and over again,
for this snow storm
that reminded me
how my needs
are always met,
and often in unexpected ways.
So grateful.
Breathing now.

Grateful Now

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Late afternoon,
and the shadows begin to lengthen into the street.
Little wisps of smoke
curl out of the neighbor’s chimney,
mingling with the wind’s frigid kiss.
The golden sun shines bravely
through the winter chill
and promises that one day
it will be warm again.
Inside our furnace runs almost continuously
trying to keep up with our desire for comfort,
for warmth.

I wonder about the homeless.
I hope they have some warm place to go.
I wish for them every comfort that they need–
shelter, clothing, food, community.

For one moment
somehow,
miraculously,
both of my children are quiet,
and I have this little moment to myself
to look around and see all that I have.

Grateful now.

Fifty-Two

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Fifty-two–the number of weeks in a year.

Fifty-two–the number of cards in a deck.

Fifty-two–the temperature inside our house at 7:00 this morning, when we awoke and realized that the furnace wasn’t working.

Brrrrr! Husband got on the phone with the guy who sold us the furnace just two years ago, who promised to send someone out to look at it as soon as possible.

We set up space heaters around the table, put the kids in extra layers of clothing, and ate some oatmeal for breakfast. I felt uncomfortable, a bit inwardly disgruntled about the chill air. Again my morning routine was disrupted. How will I find a moment to meditate if I have to greet the technician and show him where the furnace is?

I asked my husband for help so that I could meditate before he left for work. He agreed, and I went up to my cushion. Shortly thereafter, my husband took the kids upstairs to my son’s room; I had already brought out my son’s toys for them to play with: trucks, an airplane, a train set.

Both of the upstairs bedrooms have their own heating/air conditioning units attached to the wall. Can’t remember right now what those things are called; they’re made by Fujitsu, they have neat little remotes, and they keep the rooms warm in winter and cool in summer. Thank the heavens those things were working; the upstairs felt like a tropical paradise in comparison to the rest of the house.

My meditation was interrupted a few minutes in by Alan the technician, who called to make sure I’d be home when he arrived to check out the furnace. Yes, my kids and I will be homethank you for coming. I tried to settle back into the meditation zone.

Then I heard Cliff come upstairs to spend time with the kids before he left for work. I heard the door opening and then him saying, “Oh, did you poop? Say, I pooped!” 

My son answered him, “Ah poopoop!

All this is happening right next door to my tiny meditation room, which doesn’t have its own heating/air conditioning unit, by the way. I wrap up with blankets every time I sit in the winter, because it’s pretty dang cold in there. Trying to focus. Trying not to listen to their conversation as Cliff changes Aren’s icky diaper. Grateful that Cliff is taking care of it and not leaving it to me.

Meditation finished, I joined the trio in my son’s room, and noticed a pungent quality to the air that only those who have changed many diapers can really understand or imagine. Cliff needed to get to work; after a few minutes he kissed us and took his leave. Yep, this air is unpleasantly odiferous, I thought to myself. We can’t stay in here all day. We might as well figure out how to be warm downstairs and let this place air out already. I brought the little ones back down with me.

I made us all some tea, wrapped the kids up in blankets on the sofa and settled them in with a movie. I kept moving to stay warm, tidying up the kitchen, the dining room, getting the day’s laundry sorted and ready for the washer.

I kept feeling annoyed that it was so cold. I can’t sew in these conditions. You can’t sew if you can’t feel your hands.

Alan the heating technician arrived, and he made a bee-line to the furnace in the basement. He came back up a short time later reporting that the inducer motor was bad and he would need to drive out to fetch a replacement motor; he doesn’t carry that part in his van. “There is a 99 dollar diagnostic fee, and the labor will be 185. So, $284 total.” Right then my son fell down, was fussing on the floor, and I saw little puffs of breath appearing in front of his face with each little whimper. Yes, it was that cold. That’s fine, I told him, Thank you.

I kept myself busy until Alan the technician came back. More laundry. More tidying. I noticed I was feeling increasingly impatient for the heat to come on, wanting Alan to return with the new inducer motor, wanting him to get the work done quickly so that the house could be comfortable again.

The whole  morning a realization had been slowly sneaking up on me, and I finally stopped and took a good look at it. Yes, this is inconvenient, this is uncomfortable, but this is finite. I have a house. It might be colder than normal, but I have a house. Imagine not having a house, no shelter, no bed. I know the heat will come back on at some point. Imagine being so cold that you are suffering from the cold, with no hope of being warm any time soon. Imagine being afraid that you might die in this cold, knowing that you have no place to take shelter. So enjoy this time, this contrast. The discomfort helps me to fully appreciate comfort. To see my children on the couch wrapped up in blankets, safe–what a wonderful luxury this is!

I got lunch together, again set the space heaters up around the table, and we ate. Alan returned, got to work replacing the faulty motor, and I had the kids once again wrapped up like little burritos on the couch. They were on to their second movie by this time.

Alan worked his magic; the heat came back on. By early afternoon the kids were settled into nap time, and I was working on a new sewing project, a lined zipper pouch. The warmth of the afternoon sun felt wonderful on the back of my neck. I felt gratitude for this warm house, this life.

It’s now late, 11pm. I’m in my meditation room, wrapped in blankets, feeling a bit cold, and really tired. My evening meditation will most likely be thirty minutes of me struggling to stay awake; it was a busy day and my body is exhausted. I’m tempted to skip the meditation and just go to bed, but I’ve committed to my meditation practice in the same way I’ve committed to this writing project, so I’ll sit down in spite of the resistance.

When I settle into bed this evening, I’ll bask in the warmth of a down comforter and a soft mattress. My husband and our two cats will be dozing away. I’ll close my eyes with a roof over my head, my two children nearby, safe, slumbering in their own rooms, a furnace downstairs that is working hard to keep the house warm.

I am the richest woman in the world.