I am sitting more these days. Listening in. My anxiety – an ancient friend – has been hanging around quite a bit. That pulsing feeling in my chest is how I know it’s there. Tap, tap, tap. I come downstairs this morning after a long night of staying up with my daughter who is working on a speech. Chris tells me that North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb and that the temperature in the Arctic Circle was warmer than that in Southern California yesterday. I moan. Tap, tap, tap.
He laughs and I turn on him: “How can you laugh???”
He is quick and kind and generous in his words: “Is the world a better place by your unhappiness? Will global warming change because you’re worrying about it?”
We’ve started allowing ourselves to dream toward the coast. A slow, unfolding dream. Two nights ago, both of us had dreams about California – of the hills and the ocean and the sweet feel of the sea’s breath. It’s a creeping hopefulness that embraces the possibility of a full, long life.
My friend called yesterday and mentioned his 20-something’s son return to Brooklyn after two weeks at home. “The house is quieter now,” he says, and I can hear the missing in his voice, the gap left by his son. I know I will feel this gap so strongly one of these days – too soon. But I try to lean into the adventure and learning, the beauty and newness that awaits my kids. Falling in love. First apartments. New foods. Sharing stories – about me, no less – with new friends. So much is out there. And while they are on their adventures, I am starting to see a possibility of mine. Of ocean. Of future creative collaborations. Of a larger vision of yoga and myself as a teacher. It’s hazy still, this vision, but it’s out there.
Bella has been working for days on a speech about a book. She’s nervous – speeches aren’t her thing (though it’s a really good speech, so she needs to stop telling herself this story!). Listening to her as she reads me snippets of what she’s written has been kind of wonderful because the book is my biography of Dan Eldon! I’ve gotten to hear her falling in love with Dan’s life and spirit. And last night when she read me the ending of her talk, I knew that she’d gotten it. She ends by wondering about her own future safaris and asks, what will you do on your safari? Not unlike the Mary Oliver poem, What will you do with this one precious life?
Indeed, so much precious time awaits me. It’s so easy to feel that this is it – I’ve done my work – I’m settling in for the long haul. But how hurtful to my spirit. Instead, I turn toward the Pacific and listen to the waves.