Wednesday, February 10, 2010
In the Storm
Every thing has come to a standstill around us today. Anticipating the worst, with dire predictions of blizzards, power outages and mountains of snow, most of the powers-that-be on the East Coast cancelled every type of activity they can think of until this storm passes through. So, my daughter is home from school. There’s total silence outside, no cars going by or even snowplows yet.
I got up as usual, fed the horses and opened the barn up so they could wander back and forth between the corral and their stalls. Siete is standing in the snow with a small drift piling up on her back on her blanket, happy as a little kid. Silk hasn’t ventured from her stall. One gift for them is that the hay I picked up on last Sunday is exceptionally good. No one is complaining about not being able to get out and run around today. Their mouths are too full.
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much recently. Not to get into the details, but my 95 year old mother, who lives with us, has become increasingly agitated and depressed. The world inside her head is scary, and she can’t believe that it’s not the same world that the rest of us live in. She’s deaf and refuses to wear her hearing aids. She’s got macular degenerative disease and is now legally blind. I'm not one of those people who likes to chronicle the emotional details of my life on my blog. Yet, I realize that things have gotten to a point where I feel the need to explain why some days, I just don't have it in me to write anything. My mom is a very different person than she was a few months ago. It’s changed my life and challenged me in more ways than I can ever explain. The horses don’t get too much of my attention these days. When I go to the barn, it is a much-needed respite.
I’ve been looking for guidance all over the place. Pema Chodron writes about the practice of “compassionate abiding”. As you breathe, you acknowledge the difficult, uncomfortable feelings and give them space to be there, “ventilating” around them without trying to remove them. Of course, it reminded me of Silk. She helps me find a way “to be with what is” like no one else can. I stand with her in the stall and clear my mind when things get to be too much inside the house. I know that this too shall pass, and I’ve given up trying to pretend that it’s not happening. I’m very lucky to have my family, friends and animals to help me ride these uncharted trails.
“The peace that we are looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth—it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.”