Can someone please tell me
just what is enough?
What is a big enough house,
or how much is enough food
to be able to live in health?
And why are there those
living with very little
who manage to be happy,
and then there are
those who live in excess
who are miserable?
And then there are those
who simply don’t have enough
and they live in despair,
and there are those with a surplus
who are celebrating their good fortune…
And then there is everyone in-between,
fluctuating with gratitude and trust,
allowing, resisting, judging, surrendering.
And then, and I’m still wondering about this—
there are people
who don’t have access to clean drinking water,
while I take luxurious baths with candles,
and epsom salt and essential oils,
and I really can’t understand why this disparity exists….
It’s a good thing we humans are so resilient.
Otherwise all this variety
could really make us lose our minds.
A water main break
and temporary loss of running water
gives me pause to reflect
and consider the tremendous good fortune
when we turn the faucet handle
and clean water comes tumbling forth.
And then I ask myself–
What other miracles do I take for granted?
Let every small loss
and every challenge
wake me up to the enormity of my good fortune,
that I may more fully appreciate the wonder of this life.
There was a period of my life during which keeping each and every fortune from my fortune cookies–and those of other people’s cookies–was something I just HAD to do. I collected them in a sandwich bag and saved them for a journal project. I think I might have gotten out a glue stick one day and started gluing fortunes wherever there was blank space in my journals. Wait. Who am I kidding? I still do this. My husband thinks I’m nuts, so I’ll wait for him to take my son to the bathroom after dinner is over and then I’ll scoop the fortunes off the table and slip them into my wallet; the hubby is none the wiser and I don’t have to explain why my obsession is completely normal. Covert operation. Shhhh.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt caused a little eruption of my self-diagnosed mild OCD…because I couldn’t remember where I had glued any of the fortunes I kept over the years, and it has been a while since we have been to a Chinese restaurant. But then I remembered THE INTERNET, and Google searched “fortune cookie images”…and found this gem:
Now granted, this would be perfect if only the grammar were correct. If you don’t know what I mean, then check out this post by Grammar Girl. I love her.
Anyway…now for a poem with the above sentiment as my inspiration…
When the world feels heavy on your shoulders
and your body is tense and tight
when your heart rate has increased
preparing you for fight or flight–
sometimes you just need
to lie on the floor.
Get a few blankets, a bolster,
an eye pillow and a few minutes,
and just lie down, right there on the floor.
Play some soft music
and diffuse some
fair trade, certified organic,
ethically sourced, biodynamic,
essential oil of lavender…
Roll up a blanket and place it under your neck,
roll up another and place that one under your knees,
and just lie down.
Put your eye pillow over your eyes,
stretch out and breathe.
When it seems like the whole world
has gone insane
and you don’t want to join
in that crazy game…
just lie down and breathe friend,
just lie down and breathe.
My mind swirls with many thoughts.
It has been a long day
and we are in the thick of packing
for our move a week from tomorrow.
Tension is running high
my husband and I argued tonight
and it upset the children.
I spent a while reassuring them
Everything is okay.
Mama and Daddy are grumpy because we’re tired.
This isn’t your fault.
We love you very much.
Everything is okay.
Hugs and cuddles to show them
that what I’m saying is true.
Everything is okay.
Then, more work,
dinner, wrangling the children
into bath and bed.
It struck me
that these moments
that I have perceived as rife with struggle
are precious gifts
that many have not the resources to enjoy.
We have a house.
We are moving to a new one that better suits our needs.
I have a husband.
We have food to eat for dinner.
We have warm running water,
clean towels and bedsheets,
a warm house that shields us from the
winter’s chilly sting.
I have so much,
to be grateful for
I am very fortunate.
I am very fortunate indeed.