I feel so lucky all of a sudden because my mind is reeling with all the places where I have felt true peace. Most of them, I have no photos for…like the beaches in the Southern Lau group of the Fiji Islands…beaches so deserted I had absolutely no problem believing mine were the very first human footprints in that sand…ever.
Or a baby sleeping on my chest. Or cat or dog or….
Or the aftermath of beautiful love-making. (Yes, I said it…and definitely no photos of that.)
In my everyday life, one of my favorite places to get calmed and grounded in peace is the porch swing at our Mountain Retreat. It’s not just the view, though it does look out over a beautiful, peaceful valley.
There is simply something magical in the energy right there, in that spot.
We have all taken naps there. It’s just that peaceful.
BUT here’s what this challenge really brought up for me. A week from now, on December 8th, almost 39 years ago, we lost John Lennon.
It was a heartbreaking day for me but there was a gift in it I have been grateful for again and again all these years.
I remember the moment I found out so clearly. I was stuck on a bridge in typically frustrating commuter traffic…stop…go…stop…go, when I noticed that every one of my pre-set radio stations was playing a John Lennon song. Uh oh.
I knew what that probably meant. Sure enough, I heard the official announcement when I switched to NPR (National Public Radio).
I burst into tears.
You know how when you are driving, especially slowly, you catch movements in the cars right around you. We were stopped and something in the car just on my left caught my peripheral vision. I turned to look, my make-up running tears streaming, and found a young man half my age, looking right back at me. He was also crying. We locked eyes for an intimate eternity, and there is no doubt in my mind, we were sharing the same devastating moment. It was confirmed when we both rolled down our windows and realized we were listening to the same song on our car radios. Imagine.
It was almost as if our intense connection spread because around us, there was a small cluster of about 8 cars that did not move for several minutes, even though the traffic ahead had opened up. No one behind us even honked.
I don’t know how to describe this but other windows must have been rolled down too because through the air, floated snippets of Instant Karma, Imagine, and Whatever Gets You Through the Night from pumped up radio volumes all around us.
A strangely and powerfully peaceful moment…
For years, I have shared this story as an illustration of the truest form of human intimacy. An example of how we can be completely connected with anyone, including total strangers…no judgment, no bias, no words even necessary. We can connect with almost anyone through shared pain or shared joy. It’s the same experience we have when we make eye contact with someone else who is also watching a baby, or kitten playing, or a Mama duck herding her ducklings across a road. There is complete peace in those moments, sadness or delight….because for a moment, we know that we are all in this together.
Just imagine finding enough ways to co-experience this level of harmony…that we might actually save ourselves……….