When the dust finally settles and we all return to the light that touches our hearts with just the right hint of humility, perhaps it will be then when we will get to the matter of work.
By this, I mean “soul-work” wherein we will no longer be afraid to get our hands, our reputations and our spirits dirty with the most important, uncomfortable and riskiest of endeavors.
No more planning, I thought, as I prayed to the heavens at dusk, and as I could hear the smooth breaths of my children while they slept so still and alive.
No more dreaming and regretting, I promised, as I watched the sky turn from black to purple, and then to a grey gold of emotive presence that can only be described as maternally aware.
This is the moment when all difficult work will become effortless, as I now finally understand that truly worthwhile endeavors are always the most challenging and dangerous at first—and sometimes even at last.
This is the moment when I will raise up my head and my heart to the elderly, to the young, the poor, the discriminated, the misunderstood, the indigent, and even the prosperous.
This is the steadfast cloud of awareness that we are all suffering. In there is a peace and a solemn love that is both dark and light, both whole and hungry.
I walked along a field of fall leaves yesterday, crackled and colored with hues of reds, oranges and impossibly dark browns. The leaves were not aware they had fallen off their mother trees; they were not aware of loss or misfortune—they only rattled and swifted along the sidewalks blown by cool crisp winds.
This was a moment that was clear, and yet summoned tears to my wintery-kissed face. I thought about my grandmother who once told me that the trees are more alive than we, because they are not even aware of their blooming and falling.
I thought about my grandfather who once climbed a tree right in front of me, with his pin-striped suit and his derby hat, as he yelled out to the world, “This is as high as one can get.”
I thought about my mother who grew up on a farm, and walked by hundreds of trees each morning on Hawaiian salted fields to get to school. I thought about my father, who drove by trees along my childhood neighborhood in his Dodge Dart as he lived each moment with his whole heart and with the energy of a man who would never lay low.
And I thought about my children when they were all babes, when they saw trees as the greatest of miracles as they stretched out their branches towards limitless skies, and their chubby fingers followed the lines of their shadows.
This is my sky, I thought. The sky is my world, and underneath it I shall live and act in its utterly kinetic presence.
Whether I help those starving for love, food, affection, understanding or even for the beauty, music and art that no one has allowed them yet to see, least of them all to see, I now understand that it is all a gift.
Whether I create art, live artistically, reveal art to all who pass my way, or simply grin with a knowing smile of ‘finally finding home’, I shall know that it is all worthwhile. Even the ugliness and suffering is valued, as a grand and sweet beckoning towards more understanding.
To those who cry from loneliness, despair, poverty, mental and physical pain, and for those who are so lost that they have forgotten how to feel:
I say to you that you are blessed simply because you are here, and that simplicity is beautiful, unwavering and rich with every facet of its intent.
Strive always to be right here, right where you are, with your every live atom and molecule of mother nature’s warm breast awakening your true calling.
This is life at its most serene.
This is how much you are blessed.
Now, get on with your life, oh great child.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Francesca Biller
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Khang Duong at Pixoto