On the subway home today I was re-reading a Pema Chodron and found the most wonderful thought – “The Buddhist teachings tell us that over the course of many lifetimes all beings have been our mothers. At one time, all these people have sacrified their own comfort for our well-being, and vice versa.” I read it and kept going, then went back – what an incredibly radical statement. Can you imagine what the world would look like if we took it seriously? What would a daily commute on the subway look like? What would simple interactions in a store look like? There couldn’t be such a thing as road rage. Crime wouldn’t exist – it just wouldn’t make sense. Wouldn’t happen. And war?!? Hell’s bells, it even improved my mood towards my ex-husband!
Speaking of all my moms, in all our lives, I spent the evening with about ten tonight, women who I have the privilege to spend some time with once a month at the BJ/SPSA shelter. Thursday isn’t my usual night, but they always need extra hands around the holidays, and I wasn’t traveling, so I was happy to help out. Last night I was out with some friends watching them blow up the balloons for the parade, and we got into a “what are you grateful for” conversation, and I thought I’d come up with a fairly decent list, but tonight I have a whole new realm to add.
I got to the shelter early, but about half our guests were already there waiting. I was confused, but ok – whatever. It turns out the bus driver who picks them up from their day placement didn’t feel like waiting around so he picked them up and dropped them off an hour and a half early. Which means that they had to spend an hour and a half sitting on wooden pews and couldn’t go downstairs until one of the volunteers showed up.
In my list of things I’m grateful for, it didn’t even occur to me to put ‘the ability to move around freely.’ I didn’t have to ask permission to leave my apartment and head into the city, I didn’t have to sign any paperwork to leave when my shift was done, I just walked out the door and got on the subway. So right now I am incredibly aware of, and grateful for, the simple freedom of being able to move around the world as I wish.
Completely unrelated – for someone who didn’t used to cook (hells bells, for someone who lived in an apartment in DC for four years without having the gas turned on for the stove!), I’m getting pretty good at this. I made a killer lasagna today – zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, fresh oregano, mozzarella, provolone – I’m bringing leftovers to Romemu tomorrow night, so if you weren’t thinking of coming, you might want to re-think that…
Sending blessings and peace, and much love. Have a good night, wherever you are.