Last night, I was in that late part of night after my son has gone to bed, and the dishes are done, and I have a space...Sometimes this is third glass of wine territory when I'm spinning and can't just be, but sometimes I'm actually able to slow down and find peace.
I was in that space last night when I got a message from my good friend about yesterday's post, about how hard it is sometimes to be still with one's own mind. We agreed to support each other in doing more walking meditation, which I have neglected lately. I have an the elemental mantra that goes with the walking and which keeps me from having fake arguments with people or sweating imaginary disasters.
(I love the origin of this word: Dis-aster... against the stars.)
Anyway, I composed this disaster-repelling mantra four years ago and it has seen me through so much. It is my list of resolutions as they correspond to the elements: air, fire, water and earth. I say "I write, I sweat, I drink water, I receive support." Then, when I start to get a little momentum going, I add in "Heart like a bonfire, wisdom of the witches."
I walk and I say this over and over.
This is so simple but it helps me so much: if I do those things, if I do write and sweat and drink water and receive support every day, I am well. It is that simple. These are the gifts of the elements to my life. When I say them, I remember to do them and then I can imagine my center, the fifth element. I can see my heart shining like a bonfire, and the dark wisdom of the witches flowing into me. Late last night I resolved that I would take up this mantra again as I walked along the waterfront today.
And then my son woke up, stumbled into the bathroom and was revisited by the stomach flu in a technicolor projectile kind of a way. We were up late into the night. You've probably been there.
So today I had a stay home sick day with Forest. Measuring out teaspoons of Gatorade instead of measuring my steps by the elements. But this creates a kind of peace also. First of all, there is absolutely no question about where I should be and what I should be doing. I am not distracted by existential questions when I am working the basics of keeping a boy hydrated.
Also, it is a kind of an art, to be fully, lovingly available to a child who is sick, and sometimes in kind of a gross way, to hold him and clean him up and snuggle for long hours and yet also show steely resolve that we are not going to begin food reintroduction with pepperoni pizza. To be the flow of love and also the stable shores. I was a river today, banked with old and deep rooted trees.