“Our true nature is like the infinite sky, unmarked by whatever drama temporarily appears in its vast space. The heart remembers its essential spaciousness.” Kittisaro
My neighbor, Tim, called for the second time that day.
Earlier, he and I had talked together about the challenges of the past week’s snow storm and our resulting five-day power outage. We had spoken of our respective uneasiness about the new big ice storm that was forecast. We spoke of the hazards of our long driveway and where to park our cars and whether or not Jeff would come to plow. We had inquired together about fuel reserves and trees that were once again threatening power lines. We wondered about our respective supplies of firewood and food and charged phones.
That night’s call was shorter. “I want you to know,” he said, “that I heard your anxiety earlier. And, I want you to know that you are not alone. We are here and we’ll watch out for one another. We are in this together.”
His kind words woke me from a trance and brought me back into the present. I saw that my mind, in an effort to be helpful, was proliferating “Another snow storm and maybe I’ll lose power again and our propane tank for the generator is nearly empty and they promised to come and fill it but they don’t and should I call them again and anyway do we have food in the house and have we saved enough water in case the pump goes out and where shall we park the car in case Hal needs to get out to the hospital and he can’ t walk up the hill to the road and anyway is our kitty outside in the cold or has she come in already and…”
I saw that I was bringing unwise and isolated attention to a chaos of thought that had little to do with my actual circumstance in the present. In response to all those words and mental ghost stories, my body had become more and more agitated, which then affirmed to my mind, in a rather vicious and self-perpetuating cycle, that there was, indeed, something to be concerned about.
Tim’s brief call broke through all of that in the way that another’s presence and kindness so often do. He reminded me that I was part of something larger. There was a “we.” I could draw on another as a source of strength and presence and care and wisdom. There was breathing. Space. A softening and, then, a letting go: an opening into even larger spaciousness.
Thank you, dear brother. That helped.