I have been snowbound these past weeks with Nor’easter storm No.3 behind me and No. 4 predicted for next week. The ides of March. All around me is a wet, heavy blanket of snow. I yearn for some color. Not the color of mud, either, which surely is the next palette.
As I was rummaging around to clean my home office space from the vestiges of writing The Kindness Cure, a postcard tumbled out of a pile of papers. A plain white postcard. White!
But in black type was a well known quote from Rumi:
Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field, meet me there.
I paused and looked out the window.
A message from beyond, I thought. This random incident might be what SQuire Rushnell calls a god wink, “An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it could only have come from divine origin.” He suggests that unexpected or delightful experiences aren’t coincidental at all, but somehow are evidence that the universe is conspiring in your favor. As a glass-half-full kind of gal, the idea of god winks is sort of up my alley.
I considered the Rumi quote a god wink — the kind to awaken me from a spell. It caused me to pause and be still for a little while. What or who might I meet in the middle of a vast field? What is happening right now in the world that asks us to venture forth into uncertainty? Parkland, Florida. Syria. Primary elections. Community service. Oh, the fields we can find ourselves in if we are willing to wander there. If we can muster the courage.
There is a story in my book that comes to mind, in a chapter called “Radical Acceptance.” It’s a story of a mom who learns, through a painful unfolding, that her child is transgender. The story is about a brief exchange she had with a longtime friend, another mother, who pitied her. She was stumbling in a field ripe for compassion yet without a language for it among her circle of friends. That was yet to come. She told me: “I’m not trying to convince anyone to accept my kid, but if you look at us as human beings, I don’t see why you wouldn’t. We all really want the same things at the end of the day. We want our kids to be happy and healthy and productive members of society. That’s not different for me. I know in my heart if I didn’t accept my child, my kid would be dead. I don’t know of any parent who would choose that over clinging to beliefs. Common ground is there if people want to see it.”
The field. Common ground. Possibility.
Of course, the fallen postcard may not have been “astonishing” really. Curious, I looked up the definition:
adjective as·ton·ish·ing \ ə-ˈstä-ni-shiŋ \
:causing a feeling of great surprise or wonder : surprising – an astonishing discovery
That we might be open to moments of wonder, however it falls before us — is an opportunity to see something in a new way or accept things as they are. Sometimes we need reminders.
Your kindred spirit,
Behold the poke of the tulip leaves! A sprig of spring.
Check out a few of my recent guest posts and please share with your friends! The world can always use more kindness. Let’s spread the word.
- Center for Courage and Renewal: The World Needs More Kindness. Here’s How You Can Help
- Thrive Global: How You Can Observe Your Own Mind
- If you haven’t bought a copy of my book yet you can get some time-limited bonuses through March if you do! Check out my book page.
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Photo By Tara Cousineau 2018