Yesterday in church I prayed for my family’s wellbeing. Please, I said, if you have any advice, anything I can do to help everyone, please tell me. I’m really open to receive your wisdom. And I heard: Slow down. You don’t have anything that’s so important you have to rush around.
I give 94-year-old Miles Aimwright a ride to his house, allow him to show me photos of his wife, now passed, and their posse of children and grandchildren. I take two long walks through the snow. I talk with the helpful dark-haired man in the small market near our home, take my time picking out the best organic chicken that costs less per pound than what’s on sale precooked. Feeling worried and preoccupied, I remember to breathe as I chop veggies. My phone and email buzz with week demands, but I insist on filling out birthday cards first. Then, I address these Monday messages in a way that sweetly returns me to Sunday. As we eat, I start to stray into fears, but I bring my attention back to the Portobello mushrooms in the sherry and the chicken and the sweet potato, and the herbs that tingle on my tongue and the meat and veggies that warm me from within. I sit with Steve as he shows me his finalists for his new laptop. I help Harmony get to a working printer. I sit beside the woman who raised me and she helps me find my sacred ground. I don’t roll my eyes or tune out this time when she reminds me (again) that the reason I twirl my hair is because I used to run hers through my fingers as I nursed.
I think instead of me reminding Harmony of something from when she was small, how much that time meant and still means to me, how for me it will never be separate or other from the young woman before me.
I stop worrying and the gears start moving again. Thankfully, once in a while we turn and there is a giant blank wall of blind spot, clear as anything. “Oh, yes, and I’m willing to heal THAT too,” we say and it begins to shimmer as its weight softens. Somehow, before then, it never came directly into our view.
As I slow down, I step into a wider, deeper, and more tasty life. And it has been there all along, like the smell of garlic herbs cooking. I had to inhale to smell, and let go to take in.